Saturday, September 22, 2007

Two Passports Toch? The WRR, "dropping science"

(photo credit: flickr's spatfield. And to quote Michael Jackson's Billy Jean: 'the kid is not my son.')

As I was busy packing my bags for a little intra-Europe travel, I came across the following item:

The Netherlands' WRR, or "Scientific Council for Government Policy," has proclaimed it should be okay for immigrants in the Netherlands to become naturalized Dutch but also retain their original passport.

"The Council pleads for formally-juridically allowing dual nationalities. In a globalizing world, having two passports is becoming a given. Not only for 'New Dutch,' but also for Dutch emigrees. Problems that could arise from allowing officials who represent the Netherlands (to have two passports) should be discussed in a professional manner and resolved in a practical way. In addition, identifying with the Netherlands is more likely to succeed when you're not forced to give up the bond you have with the country you come from."

As some of you know, for me, this is too little, too late. I already had to give up my Dutch passport.

I estimate the cost of all the time, paperwork, citizenship classes and visas over the eight years I've lived in the Netherlands at well over 5,000 euros (okay, peanuts to some, but more than just an inconvenience to us impoverished journalists). And now that the dollar is tanking, that's what, US$1 million?


I have noticed in the past that the WRR is made up of a bunch of well-meaning but impossibly academic folks whose ideas are never taken seriously by the government. And they have zero to do with science that I can see.

I wonder how they're funded?

In any case, this time they are obviously spot-on _ and they came to this conclusion a mere four years after the previous Cabinet's reign of terror began, and only six months after it came to an end.

So: thanks a million, guys.

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