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15 november 2011: The Dutch according to expats


Time                            : 20:30 – 21:30 uur
Audience                     : 45
Speaker                      : Enrico Colzi PhD
Music                           : Jasper Mook

Organization. This Science Café was organized by Science Café Leiden, Expat Centre Leiden, Leiden Marketing and Bio Science Park.

Enrico Colzi presented two different aspects.

Facts and figures of the International Organisations in The Netherlands.

International organizations in The Netherlands are mainly concentrated in The Hague and Amsterdam area. The Hague municipality makes great effort in presenting the city as an international city of peace and justice. The cluster of international organisations in city and region shows a steady increase, especially in the legal sector. The cluster includes intergovernmental treaty organisations (IGOs) such as Europol and the European Patent Office, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as Red Cross and Oxfam Novib, but also knowledge institutes including: Nuffic and Clingendael Institute, NATO N3CA Agency, the Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) of the European Space Agency, international schools, embassies and consulates.

Jobs and GNP. Both the employment level and contributions to the Netherlands Gross National Product of the cluster of international organisations are increasing steadily.

Employment numbers. The number of jobs at the international organisations was about 18,200 in 2010. Indirectly (based on consumer spending of international staff and the acquisition of products and services) international organisations are worth another 17,500 jobs at the national level. In total, international organisations are creating more than 35,000 jobs in the Netherlands, 48% of which exist within the municipality of The Hague.

Types of organizations. Some of the European organisations are major employers, as a result of which European organisations’ share in the total employment at international organisations is the biggest (33%). The legal cluster (3,400 jobs) is responsible for 19% of employment at the international organisations. Non-governmental organisations are categorised into the following themes: development assistance, security, peace and water (management). Employment within the development assistance cluster is worth 6.9% of the total employment at the international organisations (1,260 jobs). The NGO clusters of security, peace and water are relatively limited at 400 jobs in total. They represent 2.1% of the total employment at the international organisations.

Nationality and training. Of all the staff employed at the international organisations 61 percent (10,800) are ‘international’ employees compared to 39% (7,200) of Dutch staff. A comfortable majority of staff working at intergovernmental and European organisations in particular are non-Dutch. While most staff at non-governmental organisations and knowledge institutes are of Dutch descent. 65% of the total employment at the international organisations includes positions for highly educated employees; 70% of the international staff are highly educated (university degree), compared to 57% of Dutch employees. 48% of staff who work for international organisations live in the municipality of The Hague; 2% resides in The Hague region.

Direct spending effects. The total spending (turnover) of The Hague’s international organisations amounts to €1.8 billion and €0.9 billion in the region. That is €2.7 billion in total. In 2007 the total spending of The Hague and environs reached €1.7 billion (a 60% growth). In 2010 the total added value of international organisations amounted to over €1.6 billion, a €0.6 billion increase compared to 2007, the year in which the added value amounted to more than one billion euro.

Indirect spending effects. International staff’s consumer spending means 7,300 jobs are created both directly and indirectly. Out of these jobs 57% follows from international staff’s spending at European organisations. More than 38% of jobs based on consumption effects exist within the municipality of The Hague; 31 percent in The Hague region. International organisations purchasing products and services from third parties means they are creating 10,300 jobs in total. 43% of the employment is created outside the province of South Holland, 20 percent in the municipality of The Hague and 23 percent in The Hague region. The legal cluster is responsible for 19% of the total direct and indirect employment related to the existence of international organisations. The NGO cluster ‘development assistance’ is worth 10 percent of the total employment.

The significance of the local economy. The international cluster is becoming increasingly important to the municipality of The Hague. In 2004 the international organisations represented 3.9% of the total employment, compared to 5.7% in 2007 while in 2010 7.3% of The Hague’s jobs were directly or indirectly related to these organisations. Within The Hague region (including the municipality of The Hague) 4.5% of the employment is directly or indirectly related to the existence of the international organisations. International organisations’ share in the Gross National Product of the municipality of The Hague increased from 5.9% back in 2004 to 10.8 percent in 2010.

Some of the issues faced by expats.

Issues. Considering family members of the employees, it is estimated that approximately 55.000 expats are living in the region of The Hague. The issues with which expats are confronted, when first coming to the NL and in their later period of residence are at least:

and, to a minor extent (especially for southern European nationals) availability of own country's goods (e.g. food!!!) and the weather.



Health system. A survey on the Dutch medical system (2008) proposed by the IOLA filled in by members (Dutch and non-Dutch) of IOs showed that a majority of respondents, although generally satisfied with the provision of services by medical professionals, expressed dissatisfaction with the state of the healthcare system, and commented favourably on how much better such provision was both abroad (for example, in Belgium), and in their home countries. Points of contention were:

The results of the IOSA-NL survey are confirmed not only by the number of individuals who travel abroad to receive medical care with which they have expressed satisfaction, but also by a variety of recent Dutch publications, which indicate that the local population has raised and is raising some of the same concerns voiced by IO staff members.

General remark. The second time he came to The Netherlands Enrico noticed a change in the way the Dutch treat people from abroad. The Dutch are less tolerant to foreigners.

Poll. Professor Jos van Broek, who moderated the discussion, had polled the audience about a number of questions considering the Dutch. Two groups were distinguished: those who are born and bred in The Netherlands (I) and those who are expats (II). The ratings were on a 10-points scale.

  1. The Dutch are very HOSPITABLE people. (I 5,8, II 7,7)
  2. The Dutch are very WARM & FRIENDLY people. (I 5,9, II 7,8)
  3. The Dutch are very OPEN & OUTCOMING people. (I 6,8, II 7,4)
  4. The Dutch are very OPEN-MINDED people. (I 7,0, II 7,9)
  5. The Dutch are very PROGRESSIVE people. (I 7,0, II 7,8)
  6. The Dutch are very WELL-BEHAVED people. (I 5,1 , II 5,5)
  7. The Dutch are very HAPPY & CHEERFUL people. (I 6,0, II 6,6)
  8. The Dutch are very CLEAN people. (I 6,7, II 6,5)
  9. The Dutch are very QUIET people. (I 4,5, II 4,1)
  10. The Dutch are very RESPECTFUL people. (I 5,3, II 5,9)  

Music. Jasper Mook, from Herman Brood Academy (Utrecht), did well.The majority of the very original songs were written by himself and performed with gusto, sense of drama and modulation. A promise!

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