Petition: VNG appeals to parliament not to let the Netherlands stand still

The Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG) is appealing to the Tweede Kamer and the Senate to let the Netherlands “come to a standstill” now that the Cabinet is outgoing. In a petition, the association asks MPs on behalf of all 342 municipalities “not to wait for a new government in crucial areas, but to deal with the necessary laws and regulations.”

This is the first time VNG itself has submitted a petition, a spokesperson confirmed, according to reports from EenVandaag. “The urgency of what is happening now is very great,” VNG chairwoman Sharon Dijksma said. “The fall of the cabinet takes the momentum out of all the dossiers and we ourselves have no financial reserves left to take many necessary steps. This makes the situation disastrous for local governments.”

On Wednesday, Sept. 12, the Tweeder Kamer will decide which issues will be declared controversial, meaning which dossiers will be forwarded to a new Cabinet. The Kamer will then vote on the lists that will be drawn up next week by the various committees of the Tweede Kamer, such as the Interior as well as the Justice and Security Committees.

However, the VNG believes there are major social problems that cannot wait. “The Cabinet is leaving, but our residents and their problems are not,” chairwoman Dijksma said, who is also mayor of Utrecht.

Among the issues the association considers most urgent are the lack of affordable housing, increasing poverty, waiting lists in youth care, the energy transition, and the transfer law. Earlier, the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) also asked the Tweede Kamer not to declare the latter law, intended to divide asylum seekers evenly among municipalities, controversial.

“The parliament decides whether it will actually deal with legislation that is needed to solve the problems,” Dijksma said. “We as VNG appeal to the parliament: please just get on with your work on these important issues.”

With the petition, the association wants to put pressure on the government, as despite the collapse of the Cabinet, the country still needs to regulate problems that arise, EenVandaag reported. “We hope to be able to exert real political pressure in this way by showing that a lot of people in this country believe that the country should not come to a standstill,” Dijksma stressed.

Reporting by ANP and NL Times

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