Dutch municipalities set limit on number of labour migrants

Dutch municipalities set limit on number of labour migrants

At least three municipalities have set a limit on the number of labour migrants allowed to live in the area. The idea behind this is to limit negative effects on the local community, such as increased rental prices or parking pressures.

Municipalities set labour migrant limit

Three municipalities, Maasdriel, Deurne and Zaltbommel, have set a limit on the number of labour migrants that are allowed to live in the local area. The idea has garnered increasing support in the last few months, with the Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister, Hugo de Jonge (CDA), the State Secretary Mona Keijzer and the alderman for Rotterdam Bert Wijbenga all calling for a discussion on the free movement of labour migrants. 

Migrant limit to help reduce social pressures

The municipality of Zaltbommel has set a limit of 2.000 labour migrants, despite the fact that the labour migrant population there doesn't anywhere near reach that limit, even in peak months. Nevertheless, the alderman for the municipality said that the limit would help maintain quality of life, especially in regard to “social cohesion, parking pressure and the available level of facilities.” The limit will also help keep the cost of room rental from increasing excessively.

Similarly, the municipality of Deurne has adopted a limit on labour migrants. Last year, the city council implemented a new policy regarding housing, which states that a maximum of 10 percent of the population can be labour migrants. Incidentally, this is actually an increase from the previous limit of 4 percent. Maasdriel also wants to set a limit of 10 percent within its municipal boundary.

Municipalities that want a limit

Several municipalities, including Kerkrade, Barneveld and Stichtse Vecht are in favour of establishing a limit on the number of migrant workers. Kerkrade, for example, is considering an idea which will allow one worker for every 1.000 residents. The Kerkrade alderman cited pressure on the housing market and disruption to social structure and cohesion as reasons for the proposed limit.

Municipalities that want to attract more migrants

Some municipalities on the other hand, like Peel en Maas and Teylingen, are keen to attract more migrants to work in the local area. The alderman of Peel en Maas in Limburg explained why his municipality was trying to protect migrants: “Labour migrants have become indispensable for the North Limburg economy and quality of life,” he said. “Our ambition is to bind labour migrants to us; we want to encourage them to settle permanently in our municipality.”

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

Read more



Leave a comment