Second Edition Country Perspectives on Diversity and Equal Treatment
Edited by Alain Klarsfeld, Lize A.E. Booysen, Eddy Ng, Ian Roper and Ahu Tatli
Chapter 9: Laws, policies and practices of diversity management in the Netherlands revisited
This chapter updates the chapter on the Netherlands in the first edition of the International Handbook On Diversity Management At Work (Bleijenbergh et al., 2010). The Netherlands recently went through turbulent political times where, after a decade of increasing inward-looking, anti-immigrant, ethnocentric sentiments peaking around the elections in 2010, there was a sudden drop in these sentiments in the 2012 elections. While the centre-right Cabinet Rutte I (2010-12) moved policies towards a less Eurocentric and more ethnocentric approach, the left-right Cabinet Rutte II, installed in 2012, is slightly more Eurocentric again. Nevertheless, the political attention for diversity, completely abolished under Rutte 1, is not yet restored to its full strength. In comparison, in the previous centre-left Cabinet Balkenende IV (2007-10) diversity was high on the agenda. Although the Rutte II Cabinet has less restrictive immigration policies than Rutte I, which aimed at decreasing immigration and encouraging repatriation, it still strengthens immigration policies by moving towards a law that will criminalize those who stay illegally. Gender equality has not been very high on the government agenda for a number of decades, with a short revival in the Balkenende III Cabinet (2007-10) under the Minister of Internal Affairs Guusje ter Horst. Nevertheless, many organizations have put gender equality in their organization on the agenda, usually with a focus on increasing the number of women in higher ranks of organizations.
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