March 4, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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State Commission in the Netherlands: setting limits to population growth

State Commission in the Netherlands: setting limits to population growth

The report shows that the population growth rate is very high now. The population of the Netherlands is now approximately 18 million. This number could rise to 19 to 20 million people in 2025, but the committee sees no further room for improvement.

Although very few children are being born and the population is aging, the population is growing through various forms of migration (work, study, asylum, family reunification). This puts pressure on facilities such as education, healthcare and housing. According to the committee, moderate growth is necessary for the country's prosperity, and this requires further guidance.

Although the Commission stresses that immigration control can only be achieved to a limited extent, it has come up with guidelines for reducing migration: ideally, 40,000 to 60,000 immigrants come to the Netherlands annually, which is much fewer than previously. it in the past twenty years.

The Cabinet established the committee in July 2022 to advise on topics such as ageing, spatial order, the economy and migration.

Demographer Patrick Debussiere (VUB) says there is no similar committee in Belgium. The dynamics are also different in both countries: the Netherlands has a larger population density. The Federal Planning Office issues demographic projections every year, and there is a study committee on aging. There are no recommendations attached to their reports. “It is up to policymakers to draw conclusions from this and guide policy.”

DeBusser points out that it is difficult to influence demographic processes through politics. “Our society regularly faces unexpected events, such as Corona or the crisis in Ukraine that brought people to the Netherlands and Belgium.”

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Therefore, implementing the advice seems very difficult for him. For example, he points out that most migrant workers are EU citizens and are entitled to freedom of movement. “There is nothing more difficult than controlling immigration, unless you severely restrict freedom of movement.”

The resigned government in The Hague responds positively to the advice of the Government Commission on Demographic Developments 2050. The 400-page report Moderate growth This comes at a time when four parties are discussing forming a new government.