Make Dutch culture mandatory for newcomers

April 2004 -

Sixty percent of the population of the Netherlands believe that the country's culture should be mandatory for newcomers. That is the striking outcome of a survey performed by research institute TNS NIPO which was presented during the television programme KRO Reporter on 31 March. KRO Reporter had the survey performed within the framework of a three-part series about the 'Netherlands feeling'.

Three out of every four respondents believe that the Netherlands has its own culture. At the same time, 64 % of these people are afraid that this culture will disappear.

The respondents identified the following as the major threats to that culture: the influx of migrants (27%), the influence of the EU (18%), and failing integration of newcomers (16%).

The survey questioned 803 indigent nationals and 187 nationals with foreign ancestry. Of the indigent nationals, sixty percent advocated making Dutch culture mandatory. 57% of the 'foreign' nationals said they would be willing to adopt the country's culture, providing this was voluntary. If this were made mandatory, only 43% would be in favour.

In cooperation with national newspaper Trouw, KRO hopes to start up a debate about the culture of the Netherlands. In addition to the TNS NIPO survey, an internet survey about the Netherlands Feeling was held. The questions in this survey were primarily the same as those in the TNS NIPO survey.