People in the Netherlands are far too pessimistic about the integration of immigrants. The overriding picture is that Dutch integration policies have failed, but in fact there are a multitude of positive developments, according to Sadik Harchaoui of Forum, the Institute for Multicultural Affairs (IMV).
His comments come in response to the Annual Integration Report produced by the Dutch Statistics Office (CBS). This indicates that the second generation of non-Western immigrants performs much better than their parents’ generation as far as education and work are concerned.
“We rarely dare to believe or allow ourselves to accept that what’s actually happening is far better than what’s generally thought to be the case,” he says. “The children of immigrants have put on a phenomenal sprint. That’s something the Netherlands can be proud of.” He does admit that it will take years for the immigrant community to catch up with the native Dutch.