Category: ‘gedogen’

On ‘gedogen’ of illegal students

27 June 2012 Posted by Wibo van Rossum

In May a Dutch judge decided that illegal students, for example asylum seekers who were turned down but still stay in the Netherlands, have a right to do an internship if that is part of the study requirements. The right to education comes first, the judge said, and an internship does not count as ‘work’. Minister Leers of integration this week announced that he will fight the decision on appeal. This means that legally internship still counts as work, and thus companies and organizations with illegal internship students have to pay a fine.

The announcement of Leers led to heated debate in Parliament of pros and cons of seeing an internship as work or as part of education. The solution, typically Dutch and typically politics, is to postpone the decision to change the law until after elections in September. In the mean time, the ‘gedogen’ construction is taken out of the Dutch cupboard. ‘Gedogen’ means that an illegal situation will not be prosecuted. Leers agreed to instruct the Labour Inspection to look the other way when illegal students are spotted.

In the mean time, some schools and universities have always defied legal rules on this point. They took the risk of being fined. And besides that there was the ‘Naughty Fund’ that collected money to pay the fines of institutions and illegals. Some interesting resistance … 😉

Youth cafĂ©’s in Urk

13 May 2012 Posted by Wibo van Rossum

Urk, the small town – once island – traditionally focused on sea fishing

Grotere kaart weergeven

was in the news today with so-called ‘jeugdhonken’ – places for the youth to meet and gather and have fun, but that more and more seem to function as cafĂ©’s. Illegal cafĂ©’s that is, because they operate without a license for selling beer and other alcoholics.

The national news showed an industrial area, where the young rent garage boxes for about € 400 a month and restyle them into ‘fancy places’ that probably look like the bars their parents visit.

Their arguments are ‘it is cheap and ‘gezellig’ and there is no fighting like in town’. There are regular visits from police and fire brigade, to check if safety is in order, not to close them down (!). Interestingly, mayor Jaap Kroon (Christian Democrats) is behind the youth. Only if it becomes too large and not a ‘friends meeting’ anymore, he would intervene, he said. And by the way, this is traditional Urk legal culture, as he referred to ‘the kotters [fishing boats] which in the past had always a double function of fishing boat and meeting and drinking place.’

Into the trash can … (or: good consequences from bad situations)

25 April 2012 Posted by Wibo van Rossum

Since the break-up of the Dutch government last Friday, all political parties are back on their own ideological tracks. VVD (liberal) and CDA (christian middle) had to give in on a lot of issues to ‘gedoog'(tolerance)partner PVV (Wilders’ party). Of course, the Netherlands needs to deal with the financial crisis and not having a government is really a bad situation. On the other hand … One of PVV’s wishes was for 500 ‘animal cops’ who had to keep an aye on animal welfare and abuse. They seem to have had their day. The CDA was never a fan of them, as they say today, so the money is better spend on improving working conditions and salary of police officers and for the fight against child trafficking and pornography.

Another ‘symbolic’ hobby horse of the PVV was dual nationality. Into the trash can it went this week. The bill which obliged people to opt for a single nationality only was already set in motion, but it will not be pushed any further now that the exchange money for the support of the PVV is no longer necessary.

Then the proposal to ban the burka from the public sphere. Into the refrigerator, and probably the trash can.

Last but not least immigration and the European agenda. CDA Minister Gerd Leers (Immigration, Integration and Asylum) was under pressure from the PVV to call for a stricter asylum and migration policy. He achieved no results so far, but now he is allowed to just go for workable proposals.

tightening the ‘gedoogbeleid’

28 October 2011 Posted by Wibo van Rossum

The ‘gedoogbeleid’ as something typical of Dutch legal culture around coffee shops is hard to explain and defend to non-Dutch (and to some Dutch as well ..). Core is that soft drugs are illegal, but buying less than 5 grams for personal use when you are 18 in special ‘coffee shops’ that have a municipal license, is condoned. Harder to handle is the fact that these coffee shops need to have something to sell ‘at the front door’, but are not allowed to buy large amounts of that stuff ‘at the back door’. Official policy is that the police ‘looks the other way’ from the back door as long as the stack is not over 500 grams.
No problemo .. as long as people in the area do not complain. Exactly this has been going on for some years now in the larger cities near the border with Belgium and Germany. Many French, Belgians, and Germans pay weekend visits to the Netherlands … leading to trouble in city centers and thus to complaints. The big idea of this liberal (!) government is to oblige coffee shops to become a ‘closed shop’ with members only. Only people living in the same city are allowed to become member and have a ‘wiet pass’ to get access to the shop. The rule will be in force from 1 January for the southerns part of the country, and a year later for the rest of the country.
As even an amateur criminologist can predict ..

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