Double Dutch

A little while ago the Economist reported on the new law that will make it increasingly difficult for Dutch Expats to have two passports, and citizenship of two nations ( this news shocked a good friend living in the US, as she and her children are very keen not to loose links to the Netherlands, no matter how happy she is in the US. Predictably, Dutch Expats in the US and elsewhere are worried, and indeed many do not understand the rationale in this period of continued globalization.

The surprise is in the surprise. The Economist article only in the last sentence refers to the impact Geert Wilders has on this debate (and apparently supported by a large number of people on this issue of dual nationality). Of course, this has very little to do with people like me and my friend who have left the Netherlands. The news reminded me of what I think Tariq Ramadan – who was on a pre-text fired from my old University – writes somewhere, that what a country does to its immigrants, it will finally do to its own (original) citizens. The measure as promoted in the Netherlands itself is quite simply a part of the assimilationist tendencies of now mainstream public debate and policies, originally directed at immigrants in the Netherlands whom Wilders has successfully managed to stigmatise, which will further isolate the Netherlands from the processes of globalisation that has enriched the country for centuries.