fbpx

Overpopulation Awareness is the website of The Ten Million Club Foundation

Slide background

The world is too small for us

Support us in the fight against overpopulation!

Slide background

Crowded, isn’t it?

Support us in the fight against overpopulation!

Slide background

Improving environment starts with tackling overpopulation

Support us in the fight against overpopulation!

Slide background

Do not replenish the earth

Support us in the fight against overpopulation!

Slide background

Limits to Growth

Support us in the fight against overpopulation!

Slide background

The more men, the more jam

Support us in the fight against overpopulation!

Slide background

Couples wanting children are doubly responsible for the future

Support us in the fight against overpopulation!

Slide background

Overpopulation = overconsumption

Support us in the fight against overpopulation!

Slide background

Stop the exhaustion and pollution of the earth

Support us in the fight against overpopulation!

Slide background

Too little prosperity for too many people

Support us in the fight against overpopulation!

Slide background

We love people, but not their number

Support us in the fight against overpopulation!

Slide background

We cannot let humanity happen

Support us in the fight against overpopulation!

Thursday, 15 July 2010 17:23

Policy proposals for the Netherlands

What does the foundation want to achieve?

The Foundation The Club of Ten Million makes it their aim to maintain and improve the quality of life of all legal inhabitants of the Netherlands. It sees increasing overpopulation, on a global as well as a national scale,

as the foremost threat to food and energy provision, the environment, employment, quality of life and areas of natural beauty. We are suffering from a lack of space. Our country is becoming increasingly full while our freedoms as individuals are being limited more and more. This is one of the factors that contribute to the rise in incidences of crime and aggression. These phenomena in their turn evoke fears about safety and feelings of insecurity. A change needs to occur in people’s thinking so that they will come to see that there is an alternative. As a first step in that direction, therefore, the foundation wants to instigate a broad process of social consciousness-raising. What the foundation ultimately wants to achieve by doing this is to bring back the Dutch population to a more responsible size over time. The provisional target is ten million, a size which had already been reached by 1950. Even at that time the Netherlands was considered to be overpopulated and an active emigration policy was pursued.

 

Population of the Netherlands

in 1500 ca.   1 million

in 1800 ca.   2 million

in 1900 ca.   5 million

in 1950 ca. 10 million

in 2011 ca. 17 million

 

Policy parameters

At the moment the Netherlands has around 16 million inhabitants. Our country can only produce food for five million. We have to ask ourselves if the countries that are exporting food and raw materials at the moment, will still be willing to do this in 30 or 40 years time. The rising global population and the decreasing amount of fertile land around the world could easily lead to worldwide limitations on exports, because of countries’ needs to keep goods for their own consumption.

The rapid population growth taking place in the Netherlands is leading to increasing problems in environmental planning. It has become almost impossible to find new sites for housing and space for new roads without violating natural areas. 

 

Under current conditions, pursuing a population policy is something we cannot avoid if we are to safeguard our access to the vital necessities of life in the future. This is why the individual’s right to unlimited reproduction should be secondary to the right of each citizen to a dignified and worthwhile existence. There is no room left for immigration. Emigration is not a solution either because we feel that the Netherlands should not transfer its excess population to other countries, any more than other countries should themselves. Moreover, we should keep in mind that most of the former destination countries for immigrants have since changed their immigration policies, making them less welcoming. The Netherlands must not take it for granted that Dutch nationals will have sufficient opportunity to settle elsewhere.

 

Government policy

Population policy deserves the government’s permanent attention. The political parties should also be tackled about maintaining the taboo surrounding overpopulation and about the lack of vision concerning possible population policies. The dangers of overpopulation should be constantly brought to the attention of the Dutch public through the regular channels of government information. Information about voluntary childlessness and about limiting the number of children should also be a part of this policy. Learning to live with involuntary childlessness is also a way of contributing towards the solution of this global problem.

 

Limiting the number of births

Having children used to be a way of contributing to the community, more children even signified more power to nations. This is no longer the case. What should be the focus now is a temporary, radical lowering of the number of births. Obviously this should apply to women from both the immigrant and the native communities. In the Netherlands we could aspire to the birth numbers in Spain and Italy, which would result in small or very small families (see table below). This could mean that some women might, for instance, have two or three children, and other women none. If we do not meet these standards we will continue to grow in numbers, and compelling measures will, regrettably, come to seem inevitable as time passes. It is naturally up to each individual whether they want to have more children or not, but the luxury of having more children per individual parent (couple) does present a threat to the social climate within society. The question is to what extent that luxury should be paid for by people other than the parents themselves. 

 

Women’s fertility in Europe and the US in 1993 *

Country

 

Number of children per woman

Country

Number of children per woman

Italy

1.26

The Netherlands

1.61

Spain

1.28

Denmark

1.70

Germany

1.35

Russia

1.73

Greece

1.40

U.K.

1.82

Portugal

1.42

Norway

1.92

Austria

1.51

U.S.

1.99

Belgium

1.57

Sweden

2.09

Switzerland

1.60

Ireland

2.18

Source: United Nations Demographic Yearbook 1991, 1993 and

Population Reference Bureau, World Population 1993

* The average relates to the whole female population, including women who have no children.

 

Asylum policy

There should always be room for temporary, regional relief for political refugees in extreme need. As for people seeking asylum for a longer period, a standard of 2000 people a year would be a reasonable alternative to the unceasing influx of people up till now. As a way of contributing to the solution of a global problem which cannot be solved within the Netherlands, at least this seems to be a better way of preventing the immigrant element in Dutch society from becoming more and more isolated culturally; in other words, to prevent a social divide occurring.

 

As another measure incoming asylum seekers from regions outside of Europe should be temporarily refused entry. It has become clear that, up till now, at the most, 10% of all asylum seekers were recognized as such on the basis of the 1951 Convention of the United Nations (Convention relating to the Status of Refugees). The remaining 90% could have moved on again, therefore. This is clearly not what happened, though, because around 50% ultimately did receive a residence permit for an indefinite period of time, on humanitarian grounds. Of the 40% which were turned down, a large number disappeared into illegality. In summary, around 60% of those applying for asylum in the Netherlands were ultimately admitted. The Netherlands has clearly distinguished itself from other European countries in this matter. EU experts estimate that around 15% of asylum seekers can be recognized as actual refugees; the remaining 85% comes to Europe for economic reasons. 

 

Victims of unsavoury regimes should be able to stay in the Netherlands temporarily. Dutch embassies should be easily accessible for those who are compelled to apply to those embassies when they are in need. The embassies should play an important role in the process of applying for a temporary placement in the Netherlands. Asylum seekers for the Netherlands would then become visitors of its embassies. This would avoid a lot of misery and red tape. Investigation and selection could be carried in the countries themselves and by international agreement. Only in cases of war would the existing regulations for asylum seekers be maintained. Whenever conflicts come to an end or human rights violations are halted, refugees should return to their country of origin.

 

By taking the relevant measures it can also be avoided that asylum seekers derive financial advantages from their stay in the Netherlands. Returning immigrants do, after all, encourage new potential immigrants to seek the same financial advantages in the Netherlands. Furthermore, comprehensive financial support of projects taking in refugees in regions outside of Europe seems to be urgently needed.

 

Immigration

In view of the Netherlands’ overpopulation, immigration should here be limited as far as possible. Inasmuch as there would still be immigration, it could me made dependant on the figures for emigration, births and deaths, the target being a migration balance of nil. We need to realize that other countries’ increase in population should not be a reason for immigration to the Netherlands. Another consideration, in this context, is ending the right of inhabitants of the Dutch Antilles to settle freely in the Netherlands. The Antilles are, after all, independent and autonomous, even though they are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Perhaps it is also worth mentioning here that, in the last 25 years, around 30,000 foreign children have come to the Netherlands through adoption. Many of these children were removed from their families in questionable circumstances.

 

Population growth in Europe and the USA in 1993

Country

 

Population growth

annual %

Birth

surplus

annual %

Immigration

surplus

annual%

Italy

0.0

-0.1

 0.1

Spain

0.1

0.1

0.0

Germany

0.1

-0.6

0.5

Greece

0.1

0.1

0.0

Portugal

0.1

-0.1

0.2

Austria

0.2

-0.3

0.5

Belgium

0.2

0.1

0.1

Switzerland

0.3

0.0

0.3

The Netherlands

0.7

0.4

0.3

Denmark

0.1

0.0

0.1

Russia

0.1

0.0

0.1

Great-Britain

0.3

0.3

0.0

Norway

0.4

0.2

0.2

United States

0.8

0.6

0.2

Sweden

0.3

0.1

0.2

Ireland

0.6

1.0

-0.4

Source: United Nations Demographic Yearbook 1991 and 1993,

and Population Reference Bureau, World Population 1993

 

Illegal aliens

The penalization of illegal residence in the Netherlands has long been regulated by law. The legislation is not, however, observed in the slightest. There is no effective search for cases of illegal labour or illegal residence. Changing the way we deal with this phenomenon would demand a process of consciousness-raising. In Spain, for instance, I.D. checks are considered routine. The government must make it clear that measures taken against illegal residency are not meant to pester immigrants or foreigners, but rather to ensure a certain quality of life in the Netherlands and to safeguard many of its facilities. We are not only concerned with the quantity, but also with the quality of life here. Foreigners should respect this too. What remains is the task of helping deprived regions to develop socio-economically.

 

Demographic ageing

What plays an important part in the resistance to adopting a population policy is the fear of an ageing population, a fear which is fed by the media and influential economic players. According to the media, a smaller number of children could lead to pension provisions becoming too expensive. There is, however, such a large labour reserve that it in itself shows there is no basis for this fear. We refer the reader to our brochures on the subject.

 

The convention on refugees

The Convention on the Status of Refugees, from 1951, was created in order to enable the reception of thousands of political refugees from Eastern Europe and from fascist regimes. It was not created for the millions of people who have left their countries for a variety of reasons and are now crossing the globe. It is a different situation which demands different action.

 

Specific preconditions

The foundation proposes that all measures should comply with the following preconditions, as they are described in the foundational statement:

  • We are concerned with raising people’s consciousness now, so that we can avoid such compulsive measures as have been taken in, for instance, China, as much as possible in the future.
  • Established norms and values surrounding existing life are to be respected.
  • Measures that could lead to racism and/or discrimination should not be proposed or supported.
  • Birth control in the Netherlands should take place to an equal extent in all sections of the population, as far as possible.

 

Subsidiary aims

For the time being, as described in the foundational statement, the foundation pursues the following subsidiary aims:

  • Dutch territory should be rearranged in such a way that at least 20% becomes available as a continuous sector intended for nature and recreation.
  • It is an essential requirement, in this process, that the territory that becomes available because of the pursued decrease in the population be returned to nature.
  • Sufficient land should be retained for agricultural use, so that fewer appeals will need to be made on other countries for (rare) produce.

 

To begin with, these subsidiary aims will be pursued by stimulating and supporting organizations that are active in the relevant areas. The foundation does not aim to be a form of environmental movement, but does subscribe to the following areas of concern:

  • The natural structure of the land.
  • The different cultural forms that have developed over the course of centuries.
  • Improvement in people’s and animals’ quality of life.
  • Calling into question:
    - man’s tendency to be predominantly oriented towards economic growth.
    - man’s need for relocation/movement, more specifically as it relates to traffic caused by commuters.
    - the pressures of recreation on, and the bearing capacity of, the landscape.

 

Concrete recommendations for the netherlands

In order to effect a decrease in the population of the Netherlands, the Foundation proposes the following concrete recommendations. The foundation has taken its inspiration from a 1977 report by the state commission lead by the former state secretary Prof. Muntendam.

 

Administrative provisions

  1. The drawing up by the cabinet of a cohesive and well-balanced plan for the introduction of a national population policy, whereby the effects of the current population density in the Netherlands are brought to the attention of the Dutch public.
  2. The creation a broad basis of support for a national discussion about measures that can be taken to relieve population pressure
  3. The calling into life of a permanent, interdepartmental commission and the support of the development of policy through research.

 

Action promoting birth control

  1. Supporting the general view that having a small family is more socially and ecologically responsible.
  2. Making available to everyone all medical and contraceptive facilities which could keep unplanned and unwanted pregnancies to a bare minimum.
  3. Making all forms of contraception freely available and lowering the threshold for sterilization so that it is within everyone’s reach.
  4. Pushing back all pressures (social, financial and religious) on women to have children.

 

Social and fiscal measures

  1. Giving off the signal that having and raising additional children is primarily something for which parents, and not the government, should be responsible financially.
  2. The introduction of a lower tax rate or a premium for childless couples/individuals.
  3. Abolishing the fiscal discrimination against unmarried individuals and introducing a system of taxation on an individual basis.
  4. Limiting and ultimately abolishing the provision of child allowances.

 

Education and information

  1. Including the topic of population policy in an existing subject in the secondary school curriculum.
  2. Creating room for specializations on population policy within existing academic and vocational courses in higher education.
  3. Bringing the population question to the attention of individuals who are not in formal education.

 

Immigration and remigration

  1. Changing the existing perception of the Netherlands as a country supporting immigration. Great reserve must be shown where the reunification of families is concerned.
  2. Rejecting immigration.
  3. Limiting foreign labour to contractual labour of a temporary nature and then only in cases of absolute necessity.
  4. Creating employment in developing countries by encouraging Dutch companies to establish themselves in those countries
  5. Pursuing an active remigration policy for those who wish to return to their country of origin.

 

The european union

  1. Within the European Union we will need to make it understood that the situation of the Netherlands, as an overpopulated region within Europe, should be seen as an emergency situation. The principle of free movement of individuals within the EU can no longer be applied on the basis of reciprocity. The Netherlands will have to start refusing immigrants from the European Union as well.

 

Political asylum and illegality

  1. Aiming the reception of asylum seekers at their eventual repatriation. Limiting the number of asylum seekers to 2000 people a year.
  2. The introduction of a rule that individual asylum can only be granted to those who have applied for and awaited the granting of asylum in the Dutch embassy in their own country
  3. Pushing back incidences of illegal residence in the Netherlands.
  4. Globally promoting the provision of asylum within regions, in order to ensure, or at least make easier, the eventual repatriation of refugees.

 

Become a contributor

The foundation wants to stimulate debate surrounding the issues of overpopulation and demographic ageing. In politics as well as in society, people are anxiously circling around these huge national and international issues. Overpopulation is a problem we all face! Support the foundation, become a contributor!

 

Only with a population of around 4 to 6 million would the Netherlands be able to maintain the natural capital of the earth, and to live on the yearly interest of this capital, instead of exploiting and depleting it.

 

2007

World population