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'Bestaanszekerheid': the new buzzword in The Hague

'Bestaanszekerheid' (socio-economic security) is the buzzword in the Netherlands and the magic word in the current election campaign. The King also dropped the word in his Speech from the Throne on Budget Day.

'Statesman Thorbecke said in 1844: "When wealth increases on one side, poverty spreads on the other; when the rich become richer, he who has little must become even poorer; what is legislation, which offers citizenship to all under a condition attainable by few, what is that legislation then, save for irony?"'

'Powerful words from the politician who stood at the forefront of the Dutch Constitution in 1848. "Without socio-economic security, the other rights of citizens are actually a joke." Wim Voermans, professor of Constitutional Law in Leiden, quotes Thorbecke in his book Onze constitutie, published this spring, in which he explains the genesis and operation of the Constitution.'

'After Pieter Omtzigt put the issue of socio-economic security on the map, politicians recently rushed to emphasise its importance. It also looks set to become the central topic of the Parliamentary Debate on the Speech from the Throne. In doing so, The Hague is rediscovering Article 20 of the Dutch Constitution, which states that "socio-economic security is the government's duty".'

Want to know more?

You can read the entire news article in Dutch newspaper NRC here (in Dutch).

Photo: Maria Lin Kim via Unsplash

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