Zoekresultaat: 2 artikelen

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    In this essay, the author is looking for pioneering local administrators in the Netherlands who dared to push existing boundaries. However, the story starts in Great Britain where progressive liberals under the label ‘municipal socialism’ proceeded to provide public utilities through municipal governments rather than private enterprises. Their example was adopted by the so-called ‘radicals’ in Amsterdam led by Wim Treub. ‘Aldermen socialism’ with Floor Wibaut in Amsterdam as its most important representative, took it a step further. Their aim for a welfare municipality anticipated the later welfare state. After the Second World War we also saw some strong local administrators who in their own way strived for changes in their municipalities. After 1970 the phenomenon of ‘urban renewal’ led to a new flourishing of ‘aldermen socialism’ in the Netherlands with Jan Schaefer (in Amsterdam) as its most appealing figurehead. Since 2000, we have been in a new era of dualism, citizen participation and devolution that has produced new 'boundary pushers', which generated interest abroad (see the book on mayors by Benjamin Barber). At the end of the article, the author takes a look into the future. Current global problems also confront municipalities and they require local administrators with a good mix of political leadership, new civic leadership, inspiring commissioning and good stewardship. This essay is written for the ‘Across boundaries’ annual conference of the VNG (the Association of Netherlands Municipalities founded in 1912) held in Maastricht (in the far south of the Netherlands) in 2018.


Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    An element of the theme of the VNG 2018 ‘Across boundaries’ annual conference in Maastricht is the necessity for Dutch politicians and administrators to push existing boundaries. In many cases this will involve a national border, which is closer in the region than in the national administrative center in The Hague. More than half of the twelve Dutch provinces have national borders, so cross-border cooperation is a regular phenomenon. National or EU regulations and subsidies may help to realize policy goals that are found important at a regional or local level, but when policy crosses national borders in practice it is also confronted with other ‘European’ boundaries. If there are incomprehensible, impracticable or conflicting rules, there is tension between common European policy and Dutch decentralization. Therefore this essay focuses on the control that the European Union has as an administrative challenge. It first discusses the shaky European consciousness and then the actions taken to break this vicious circle.


Dr. Mendeltje van Keulen
Dr. M. van Keulen is lector Europese Studies bij de Haagse Hogeschool. Van 2011 tot 2017 was zij griffier Europese Zaken bij de Tweede Kamer.
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