Tue, Feb 15, 2011 | Elsevier | Edited by Crethi Plethi
Dutch Deputy Prime Minister: Multicultural Society has Failed
Dutch Deputy Prime Minister Maxime Verhagen said Tuesday in the Dutch television show “College Tour” that multiculturalism had failed. He is the latest in a growing number of world leaders and politicians who also recently have said that multicultural policy is a failure.
According to the Deputy Prime Minister many Dutch people no longer feel at home in the Netherlands: “The Dutch society is too watered down.”
Verhagen, member of the Dutch Christian Democrats Party (CDA) said that the Dutch are not proud anymore about their country. He cited America as an example. “If you ask people out there who or what they are, they reply that they are Americans first, and then where they originally come from.” A national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that more than eight-in-ten (83%) Americans say they are either extremely proud (52%) or very proud (31%) to be an American.
He continues: “In the Netherlands the native Dutch lacks that sense of pride in their own country and immigrants lacks the proud of Dutch citizenship.”
Verhagen believes this can be changed if the integration of newcomers is more punctuated with Dutch norms and values.
Recently, Britain’s prime minister Mr. David Cameron pronounced his country’s long-standing policy of multiculturalism also a failure. “It is time to turn the page of policy failures,” said Cameron. He called for better integration of young Muslims to combat home-grown extremism. He urged a “more active, muscular liberalism” where Western norms and values (equal rights, the rule of law, freedom of speech and democracy) are actively promoted to create a stronger national identity.
German Chancellor Merkel in October said efforts towards multiculturalism in Germany had “failed, totally.” The German leader said that immigrants must do more to integrate well and should learn German as soon as they come to Germany. Merkel made her remarks at a meeting in Potsdam with young people of her party, the CDU.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Thursday in a panel discussion that multiculturalism had failed. “My answer is clearly yes, it is a failure,” he said in a television interview. “Of course we must all respect differences, but if you come to France, you accept to melt into a single community, which is the national community, and if you do not want to accept that, you cannot be welcome in France,” the French president said.