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Top Dutch News – 6 March 2024

Stay up to date with the latest news from the Netherlands!  Enjoy reading!

Dutch economy limped past €1 trillion milestone in 2023 – CBS (Dutch News)

In 2023, the Dutch GDP surpassed €1 trillion, marking the Netherlands as the 18th largest global economy. Despite minimal growth, the economy expanded by €74 billion, reaching €1.03 trillion, but adjusting for inflation reflects a mere 0.1% increase. After emerging from a nine-month recession in Q4 2023 with a growth of 0.3%, the economic planning agency CPB projects a 1.1% growth in 2024 and 1.6% in the following year. Over the last 30 years, the Dutch economy has tripled in value, passing the half-trillion mark in 2002, with nominal contractions occurring only twice during the financial crisis of 2009 and the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. Globally, the Netherlands ranks 18th, positioning it just behind Turkey and ahead of Saudi Arabia and Switzerland. Within the EU, it stands as the fifth-largest economy, following Spain, with a total of 19 countries boasting a GDP larger than US$1 trillion. Read more

EU questions legality of Netherlands’ mandatory integration measures (IAmExpat)

The European Court of Justice is assessing the legality of the Netherlands’ mandatory integration policy, particularly its civic integration program for certain migrants, which requires language and society knowledge exams within three years. The court is questioning whether the Dutch system, including fines for non-compliance, aligns with EU rules. Over recent years, the Netherlands has fined around 3,400 refugees for exceeding the integration timeframe, resulting in a maximum fine of 1,250 euros. Many migrants finance language studies through loans, accumulating around 27 million euros in outstanding loans and 2.3 million euros in fines. The court’s ruling, expected in the coming months, may influence whether the Netherlands needs to waive these debts. As a temporary measure, the government agency DUO has halted the issuance and collection of repayments on fines and loans. Read more

Aid groups appeal to the European Union to release urgent funds for Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA (Independent)

Biller, the well-known ‘buy now, pay later’ brand, officially changes its name to NOTYD as of October 30. The transition has been communicated to webshops, partners, and consumers, with official social media announcements in December. During December, the NOTYD name and logo will replace Biller in the checkout process. The complete transition, including a new website launch, will be finalized in early 2024. NOTYD, part of the Danish Banking Circle Group since 2021, focuses on simplifying B2B e-commerce transactions, providing instant credit and guaranteed payouts for enhanced business opportunities. All contractual rights and obligations remain unchanged despite the name change. Read more

Dutch unveil 28bn-euro package to cut greenhouse emissions (Expatica)

The Netherlands has revealed a 28-billion-euro package aimed at addressing climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The plan, announced by Dutch Climate and Energy Minister Rob Jetten, includes measures to achieve a 55% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 compared to 1990. Some of the measures include the closure of all gas and coal-driven power plants by 2035, subsidies for the purchase of second-hand electric vehicles, and a 65 million-euro allocation for research into small-scale nuclear power plants. The government also plans to increase the number of charging points for electric vehicles and raise petrol prices to encourage the adoption of electric transport. Jetten emphasized the goal of a climate-neutral circular economy by 2050, reducing dependence on fossil fuels. The announcement aligns with wider EU efforts to combat climate change, including expanding the carbon-trading market and introducing a carbon border tax. Read more

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