Ethnic minorities

The point of departure of policy towards ethnic minorities should be the equal participation of minority groups in Dutch society rather than the temporary nature of their residence in the Netherlands. Otherwise, existing problems, such as disadvantage, will be exacerbated, the WRR argues in its report Ethnic minorities (Report no. 17, 1979).

Change of orientation required in policy

Equal participation in society means that policy should be targeted at preventing discrimination, improving the legal position of ethnic minorities and improving their position in the labour market. These groups are frequently social and economically disadvantaged, for example because of their relatively low level of education. It will also be necessary to tighten up the restrictive immigration policy, but to accept immigration on the grounds of family reunification.

Open society

Active participation by minority groups in society calls for both immigrants and native Dutch people to respect one another’s views and to take account of each other’s cultural values. An important condition for developing an open society of this type is that minority groups can exercise influence on policies that affect their position and on the development of society as a whole.

The Council’s report was published in a single volume with a preliminary study by M.J.A. Penninx entitled Towards a general policy on ethnic minorities?.