Student cabinet presents ‘coalition agreement’
The Student Cabinet, a shadow cabinet with students from the Dutch universities, has presented its first ‘coalition agreement’. As Minister for New Democracy, Leiden student Zeineb Romdhane says inclusion should form ‘the basis of our democracy’.
In ‘Ready for the Future’, the first Student Cabinet’s coalition agreement, the 14 student ministers reveal their plans in such areas as agriculture, justice and health care. In essence, the Student Cabinet is calling on politicians to involve research and teaching more in important decisions that ‘look further than one term’. Nikki Snels, Minister for Social Affairs and Employment (Tilburg University), is calling for a transition fund to make the transfer to a new and suitable job easy in a flexible employment market. As Minster for New Delta Works, Machiel van der Wal (Delft University of Technology) wants to invest in research and innovation in physical and digital infrastructures that will facilitate the energy transition.
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Involve more citizens
Zeineb Romdhane, who is studying Middle Eastern Studies, is representing Leiden University in the cabinet as Minister for New Democracy. She will focus on better democratic representation of all groups in the Dutch population. In the agreement she writes: ‘More research is needed to learn about the experiences and political perspectives of underrepresented groups within the Dutch population. Research is opening new horizons on how to involve a more diverse group of citizens in future political meetings. If we look at current research into politics and democracy and the experiences of the Dutch population, Dutch citizens from a non-Western migration background are underrepresented. Although this lack is acknowledged in various studies, there is little in the way of follow-up research and it remains unclear which concrete steps need to be taken.’