Outlook for the Future
There has been a great deal of discussion in the Netherlands recently about
the integration of ethnic minorities. The tenor of that discussion is sombre:
some observers speak of a 'multicultural drama', while others claim that the
government's integration policy has failed completely. Recent political events
both in the Netherlands and abroad have led to a deterioration in relations
between ethnic minorities and the indigenous population.
It is not easy in such a context to indicate how the integration of ethnic minorities will proceed between now and 2020.
Integration cannot be separated from the extent and nature of immigration. What will be the composition of the population in 2020? Will the educational level of the ethnic population improve further? Will an ethnic middle class emerge? If the social and economic position of ethnic minorities improves, does this mean that contacts between indigenous Dutch citizens and ethnic minority groups will increase and that members of ethnic minorities will begin espousing the same views and displaying the same behaviour patterns as the average indigenous Dutch person?
This mid-range exploration of future trends attempts to provide an answer to these questions.