The Hague news


13 June 2024, by Emily Proctor

Dutch manufacturing and technology giant ASML has been given the green light to build a huge new campus located close to the Eindhoven Airport. The new campus will create around 20.000 new jobs, in addition to the 23.000 people the company currently employs in the Netherlands.

New ASML campus to spread on 50 hectares of land

The new campus is set to be built on 50 hectares of land, and will directly create 20.000 jobs in Eindhoven, as well as a further 50.000 jobs for local suppliers. Due to the size of the campus, the government showed some initial reservations given the large amount of resources required and the possible disruption caused by the project. 

PvdA, VVD, CDA, and D66 approved the plans after an extensive meeting last week, with GroenLinks-PvdA eventually coming around to the expansion. Construction on the project is set to start at the earliest in 2026. 

One-third of Eindhoven residents have concerns about the project

Despite the politicians having come around to the idea, many residents of Eindhoven are still unsure about how the company’s expansion could impact the local community. Research by Newcom for Omroep Brabant showed that a third of Eindhoven residents are concerned about how the project will impact the housing shortage in the city, and what city officials and the company will do to address this. 

Even with the hesitation from some residents, almost half of the locals support the location chosen by the company and are positive about their expansion plans.

Thumb image credit: Skorzewiak / Shutterstock.com

By clicking subscribe, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with our privacy policy. For more information, please visit this page.

As a career coach, I am always on the lookout for new, time-efficient ways in which I can help my clients get new jobs faster, while spending less time on the crafting of CVs and cover letters. From checking and writing emails to brainstorming ideas and writing essays, the use of AI is rapidly taking over, but how can you, as a job hunter, use it effectively? Let’s dive in.

Attention pointsBefore we jump in, I want to take you through a couple of attention points that could be counter-intuitive to your goals during your job search:

1. Use AI for what it is – a toolNever just copy and paste anything that AI writes without checking it critically. Use it as a tool to help you do the work, not as a tool that does all of the work for you.

2. Be mindful of your privacyWhen writing a CV or a cover letter, or anything else for that matter, I would suggest being mindful of the data or personal information that you include in it.

3. Always provide additional contextHave a chat with ChatGPT; the more information you provide, the better results you will get. Play with it and do not stop with the first answer. You should also clarify the tone you want ChatGPT to use: should it be professional, conversational, or something else? 

4. Use AI promptsDepending what you want to ask the AI to do, you can use different prompts to help you in your job search. The “Act As” prompt generates relevant answers, as if they were really coming from someone in a specific profession.

For example, you can type into the search bar “Act as a recruiter for the HR Assistant function”. ChatGPT will then give you information sourced from real recruiters’ data found on the internet.

5. Be mindful of flowery wordsI don’t know about you, but I already know when I see words such as “tapestry”, “delve” or “embark” that the text was most probably not written by a human. When you are sending documents and communicating with recruiters, be careful with overtly flowery language that you wouldn’t usually use.

Using AI during a job searchLet’s have a look at how you can use AI across different parts of the job search process, starting with the application phase:

CV creationFor a long time, there have been various AI tools that offer to create your CV for you. The old, traditional way of just manually typing out your CV is also great. However, you can enhance your CV writing by asking ChatGPT to review a job offer for you and to highlight what are the most important elements of the job. You can also go ahead and copy and paste a draft of your current CV into ChatGPT and ask what the key experiences you need to highlight for this job are.

Ideas of prompts to use when making a CV are:

Prompt 1: Act as a resume writer and highlight my achievements as a project manager with experience in leading cross-functional teams to deliver projects on time and under budget. Prompt 2: Review and rewrite the summary section of my CV for this specific role [Copy and paste job description]. As mentioned above, using AI to help you with your job search is a back-and-forth process, and it often does not stop with the first answers you get from ChatGPT.

Cover letter creationThe best way that you can use AI to help you with your cover letter is again to help you review and come up with different examples. Similar to writing your CV, I would suggest starting with analysing the job description.

You can ask ChatGPT to review the given role together with your CV, and to write three bullet points for a cover letter. Those bullet points would need to cover the most important responsibilities and how they match with your skills and expertise.

When creating a cover letter, you can use prompts such as the following:

Prompt 1: Review the given role, along with my CV, and highlight three bullet points for my cover letter [Copy and paste CV and job description]. Prompt 2: Review my cover letter and suggest any improvements or edits [Copy and paste cover letter]. Obviously, you can also ask AI to review your already-written cover letter to correct grammar and spelling mistakes. But make sure that you do not, by any means, copy and paste the AI-generated cover letter on its own into your job application.

Interview preparationThis is actually one of my favourite ways in which AI can help applicants when they are preparing for job interviews. So how can you use AI before an interview? First, you can ask ChatGPT to act as a recruiter and to come up with interview questions specifically for the job you are interviewing for. Then, you can copy and paste your CV and ask it to help you to prepare answers based on those questions.

Some prompts you can use specifically for interview prep are:

Prompt 1: Act as a hiring manager, give me a list of behaviour-based questions for this role [copy paste the role description]. Prompt 2: Prepare me for a technical interview for a data scientist position, including questions on statistical modelling, machine learning and data visualisation. Prompt 3: Help me prepare for a case study interview for a management consulting role, including structuring my analysis and presenting my findings. Doing this can help you to prepare for the actual interview and help you to feel more comfortable and confident when the time comes.

LinkedIn profile optimisationLast but not least, AI can also help you to optimise your LinkedIn profile. It can help you to write a great headline and, of course, a description for the “About” section. First, ask ChatGPT to review a couple of job descriptions that you are interested in and then ask it to come up with the list of keywords. Then you can ask it to optimise your LinkedIn Profile based on those keywords.

For instance, you can type into ChatGPT:

Prompt 1: Create a list of keywords based on these job descriptions and divide them in the following: hard skills, soft skills, verbs and other requirements [Copy and paste the job descriptions]. Prompt 2: Optimise my LinkedIn “About” section with the keywords found in cybersecurity expert roles with responsibilities including threat analysis and prevention. AI as a toolAs you can see, there are endless possibilities as to what AI can do for you not only in your daily life, but also during the job search process. Again, do not stop with the first answer that ChatGPT gives you. At the end of the day, AI is a powerful tool but you remain the master of it.

Good luck with your job search and let us know in the comments how you use AI in your life!

The Netherlands is home to the fourth most satisfied and confident employees in the world, according to a new report released by analytics and advisory firm Gallup. According to their research, 71 percent of employees in the Netherlands feel confident and satisfied with their work life. 

State of the Global Workplace: 2024 Report

The report, released by Gallup, focuses on the mental wellbeing and satisfaction of employees around the world. The company’s research stated its concern for the worldwide decline in mental health and acknowledged the role that an unhappy work life can play in many employees’ personal lives. 

The report assessed employee mental health, economic and labour policy, managerial styles and organisational performance, among other key issues to determine which countries have the employees with the best mental wellbeing, and which countries have employees who are struggling. 

One in five employees globally feels lonely

Sadly, the statistics uncovered by the firm show that one in five employees globally feel lonely. This percentage is higher for employees under 35, but remote workers feel loneliness the most, with 25 percent of all online employees reporting feeling lonely during their most recent day at work. 

2023 also saw the wellbeing of younger employees fall from 35 percent of employees who say they are thriving, to 34 percent. Though the happiness gap between younger and older age groups is generalised outside of work, younger people often find themselves more likely to be unhappy at work than older employees, according to the report. 

Workers in the Netherlands named as the fourth most satisfied employees in the world

On a more positive note, the Netherlands does seem to be at the better end of the spectrum when it comes to employee satisfaction. According to the report, the Netherlands has the fourth most satisfied and confident workforce in the world, behind Finland (1), Denmark (2) and Iceland (3). 

The country also has one of the lower daily stress levels, according to the data, with Malta, Greece and Cyprus named as the three countries with the most stressed employees. 

Top ten countries for employee satisfaction and confidence

The top ten countries for employee satisfaction and confidence according to Gallup are:

  • 1. Finland
  • 2. Denmark 
  • 3. Iceland
  • 4. The Netherlands
  • 5. Sweden 
  • 6. Norway 
  • 7. Belgium
  • 8. Lithuania
  • 9. Slovakia 
  • 10. Czechia

For the full report, or more information about the methodology, check out Gallup’s website

By clicking subscribe, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with our privacy policy. For more information, please visit this page.

In its latest report on the state of the Dutch economy, Rabobank has predicted that the Netherlands will see modest economic growth throughout 2024. The bank predicts that in 2025, the Dutch economy will grow even more, by up to 1,3 percent. 

Dutch economy contracted in first quarter of 2024

After the Dutch economy, like many other countries, struggled through the COVID-19 pandemic, only to be then hit with soaring inflation during the Ukraine war and the European gas and energy crisis, economists have been predicting that things will soon start looking up. However, many in the country were dismayed to find that during the first quarter of 2024, the Dutch economy unexpectedly contracted, rather than grew. 

Rabobank’s estimates show that overall economic growth throughout 2024 in the Netherlands will be modest, and perhaps not the surge in prosperity that many were hoping for having come out of the economic doom-and-gloom of the past four years. Overall, the bank predicts a 0,4 percent growth in the Netherlands’ economy throughout 2024, followed by a 1,3 percent rise in 2025. 

New Dutch government wants to focus on purchasing power

The report comes at a time when the new Dutch government has laid out their priorities for the coming parliamentary session – one of the key objectives being to improve the Netherlands’ purchasing power.

Adjustments in Dutch taxes, as proposed by the the PVV, VVD, NSC and BBB coalition, could see a small increase in purchasing power across all income groups, and the number of people living in poverty should start to slow down, according to the research by Rabobank. 

Rabobank experts expect inflation to rise

In bad news for anyone expecting to save their money, the bank predicts that inflation will continue to rise over the coming years. Economists from Rabobank see inflation climbing to 2,2 percent in 2025, and 2,5 percent in 2026. A large part of this is down to the coalition’s plan to increase VAT, and the possibility of US import duties. 

According to another report, published by macro-economic think-tank CPB, the greatest risk to the Dutch economy in the coming years is geopolitical tensions. Despite this, the unpredictability of the last four years in economic terms means that businesses have come to terms with having to plan and prepare for the unthinkable.

“In particular, companies have been reducing their debts,” CPB director Pieter Hasekamp said. “The economy remains strong, given the coronavirus pandemic and the energy crisis.”

The analysis by CPB explains that war in Ukraine and the Middle East, and the possibility of a (trade) war between the US and China make the Dutch economy especially vulnerable, given the country’s heavy focus on international trade. Exacerbation of these issues could create inflation, lower economic growth, and a fall in spending power, as well as a damaging loss of investor confidence in the Netherlands overall, the report added. 

Thumb image credit: PixelBiss / Shutterstock.com

By clicking subscribe, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with our privacy policy. For more information, please visit this page.

Americans living abroad face unique challenges. Olivier Wagner from 1040 Abroad explains what these reasons are and why some American expats want to renounce their US citizenship.

While the annual tax season can be stressful for filers, the burden is even greater for Americans overseas. About 9 million US citizens live abroad, the US Department of State estimates. Nearly a quarter of U.S. expats are “seriously considering” or “planning” to renounce US citizenship. For those looking to renounce citizenship, more than four in 10 said it was because of US tax filing requirements.

Tax filing requirements for US expatsUS expats pay US income taxes each year, where they have to report their worldwide income such as wages, benefits, rental income, business profits, etc. US citizens and resident aliens must file their taxes and pay their debts, no matter where they live. The rule means expats may have to file and pay taxes in two places.

Despite the IRS providing mechanisms, including foreign income exemptions and tax credits, many expats are still overwhelmed by reporting requirements. In fact, about two-thirds of US citizens living overseas believe they don’t need to file US taxes.

“It can get very complicated very quickly,” said Olivier Wagner, founder of 1040 Abroad.

Additional reportingOnce the foreign account balance exceeds $10.000, the expat must file a foreign bank report and financial account, known as the FBAR, with the Treasury Department.

Some expats may also be required to disclose foreign financial accounts, such as savings and investments. For example, let’s say someone has $5.000 in savings and $4.975 in investments. If their investments increase to $5.025 at any time during the year, they will need to report their accounts.

The so-called FBAR deadline is April 15, but those who miss it get an automatic extension until October 15. In addition to the FBAR, some foreign nationals with accounts over a certain limit may be required to file Form 8938, which is designed to deter tax evaders with overseas accounts.

The threshold for Form 8938 is over $200.000 for a single filer at the end of the year (over $400.000 for married couples filing together) or $300.000 for balances during the year (over $600.000 for couples filing together).

Disappointed with Uncle SamIn addition to the greater reporting burden, many expats are frustrated with the US government. In the long run, the coronavirus pandemic may prompt some to stay abroad, with 60% of them disagreeing with their government’s approach. In addition, many US citizens feel that the US government does not represent them fairly.

“In the end, many expats just want to live a normal financial life,”Olivier Wagner said. “I think it’s safe to say that the vast majority of Americans living abroad are what we consider middle class. We’re not talking about billionaires living on yachts.”

How many US citizens give up their passports?Relinquishment of US citizenship remains uncommon in absolute terms, but it has become more frequent than relinquishment of the citizenship of most other developed countries. Between three thousand and six thousand US citizens have relinquished citizenship each year since 2013, compared to estimates of anywhere between three million and nine million US citizens residing abroad.

The number of relinquishments is up sharply from lows in the 1990s and 2000s, though only about three times as high as in the 1970s. Lawyers believe this growth is mostly driven by accidental Americans who grew up abroad and only became aware of their US citizenship and the tax liabilities for citizens abroad due to ongoing publicity surrounding the 2010 Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.

Between 2010 and 2015, obtaining a CLN (Credit-Linked Note) began to become a difficult process with high barriers, including nearly year-long waitlists for appointments and the world’s most expensive administrative fee, as well as complicated tax treatment.

Legal scholars state that such barriers may constitute a breach of the United States’ obligations under international law, and foreign legislatures have called upon the US government to eliminate the fees, taxes and other requirements, particularly with regards to accidental Americans who have few genuine links to the United States.

Consult a tax advisorIf you are struggling to file your US taxes each year, then it is wise to hire a specialised US tax advisor. These experts can help you to understand what your tax obligations are depending on your personal situation. 

1040 Abroad is your partner in navigating expat tax challenges. Their mission is to provide you with the expertise and support to navigate these complexities confidently. Schedule a call with one of their experts today to get on your way towards compliance.

The European Union headed to the polls last weekend, with the Netherlands starting off the election on Thursday June 6. Results now show that the country will send three new parties to Strasbourg and Brussels, with Volt, the BBB and NSC gaining seats in the European Parliament for the first time.

What did Dutch voters prioritise? 

According to an Ipsos poll, Dutch voters were most keen for politicians to tackle immigration, with the issue being the main driving force behind many voters’ choices. This was confirmed by the election results, showing that Geert Wilders’ anti-immigration PVV party came out with big wins during the EU election. 

The second most important issue was unusually healthcare, given that the EU has few supranational competencies in this area. The election results left GroenLinks-PvdA as the biggest Dutch party in the EU parliament with eight seats in the 720-member chamber, followed by the PVV who went from having one seat in the EU parliament to six.

Three Dutch parties to make their debut at the EU parliament

In addition to the increased number of seats for the PVV, there were also a number of newcomers to the EU political scene. Dutch political parties Volt, the BBB and NSC are set to make their political debut at the EU parliament, with the former two gaining two seats each at the table, and the NSC gaining one.

The entrance of the new parties represents the changing political face of the Netherlands, yet further endorses the popularity of the newly elected government, confirming the results of last year’s Dutch election.

Despite this, GroenLinks-PvdA leader Frans Timmermans said the strong results for them and other pro-European parties like Volt show “a majority in the Netherlands wants to strengthen Europe and certainly not destroy it.”

How did the rest of the EU vote?

The Dutch voter pattern appears to have been repeated across the bloc of 27, with the general story being that centrist and pro-European parties came out on top overall, but amid significant far-right gains. In France, the governing political party under French President Emmanuel Macron faced such heavy losses to the far-right National Rally party, that he dissolved parliament and called for a French general election. 

The outcome of the European elections reflects a shift in EU politics away from unity and more towards fragmentation. A recent study showed that while most people in the Netherlands are not in favour of the Netherlands’ exit from the EU (a potential Nexit), they are overwhelmingly dissatisfied with the EU. 

The study, which was commissioned by the Clingendael Institute, a think tank for international relations in the Netherlands, found that while only 15 percent of people in the Netherlands want to leave the European Union, there are many issues that the EU needs to address – namely the bloc’s security and sovereignty. 

Thumb image credit: Daniela Baumann / Shutterstock.com

By clicking subscribe, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with our privacy policy. For more information, please visit this page.

11 June 2024, by Emily Proctor

Police stations in the Netherlands are closed today as part of a protest by Dutch law enforcement calling for a better early retirement scheme. Police are still available for emergency situations

Police demand better early retirement scheme in the Netherlands

Police in the Netherlands have already taken a number of measures to demand a better retirement scheme – including stopping punishing people for minor offences such as littering or not having proper bike lights. In the first week alone of that protest, Dutch law enforcement issued 6.000 fewer tickets compared to the same period one year ago. 

Anyone who turns up at a police station today will be greeted by a poster fixed to the door explaining the closure. “Citizens will have to come back later,” the police unions said. “Appointments scheduled for Tuesday, June 11, will be moved to another time.”

Police are unhappy about how the negotiations have gone so far

“There is still no prospect of a good early retirement scheme for the police,” police unions claimed last week when they announced the closure. The unions say that their previous actions have not had any impact on the negotiations so far, and therefore intend to use the station closures as an opportunity to escalate the matter. 

“Apparently, it takes a lot to convince employers and politicians that police work is hard work and that a decent early retirement scheme is, therefore, simply a sign of respect and appreciation,” the police union ANPV said last month. The union has made it clear in several statements that should their demands not be taken seriously, further action may soon follow.

By clicking subscribe, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with our privacy policy. For more information, please visit this page.

Are you ready to have a fantastic summer in the Netherlands but aren’t confident about your Dutch language skills? UvA Talen’s e-learning platform, The Language Academy, has come to the rescue!

Dutch summers present a mystery: you never quite know what to expect – sun, rain, wind or even storms. Typically, you can experience them all within a span of two months! However, let’s focus on the positive: a Dutch summer usually blesses us with several days of sunshine and temperatures surpassing 18 degrees. And what do the Dutch do on such days, you may ask?

They stuff themselves and their belongings into their cars and head for the beach or a lake, ride their bicycles to the nearest terrace, or fire up the barbecue in their backyard. Picture yourself doing the same – what Dutch phrases are essential for surviving those scorching days?

Here are a few Dutch phrases that will help you make the most out of your summer days:

At the terraceLet’s say you’ve chosen to spend your day at a nearby terrace. What will you order? How will you ask for the bill on such a busy, sunny terrace day?

See your options below:

Mag ik een witbiertje bestellen? (Can I order a white / wheat beer?)Good to know: Together with Aperol Spritz, (alcohol-free) wheat beer is a fan-favourite summer drink for the Dutchies.

Waar is de WC?(Where are the toilets?)Good to know: Some Dutch cafés charge you if you would like to make use of their toilet unless you are a customer there. So, might as well treat yourself to a beer while you’re at it!

Mag ik afrekenen? (Can I pay?)Good to know: Most Dutch people pay by card even with small amounts, and some cafés ask you to pay before you have even received your order. Better get your card ready!

At the beachFor all of the readers who chose to go to the beach on a scorching summer day … don’t forget to use these examples below:

Gaat u weg? (Are you leaving?)Good to know: This is to be used, for example, arriving at the beach to a full parking lot, but you notice someone walking to their car and you’d like to claim their parking spot. Parking spots at the beaches in the Netherlands are very scarce, so whenever you see a family with sun-kissed skin heading for their car, don’t be afraid to follow them with your car and wait for them to leave.

Zijn er publieke douches op het strand? (Are there public showers on this beach?)Good to know: The answer is usually “no”. Unfortunately, most Dutch beaches don’t offer shower facilities. But feel free to use this sentence if you’d like to ask just in case!

We willen graag een bittergarnituur bestellen. (We would like to order fried snacks)Good to know: No matter the season, a plate of different appetisers is always a good idea! The Dutch love their yellow, fried bite-sized snacks: usually bitterballen, croquetten and spring rolls, among others.

At a barbecueSo, you’re the hamburgers and hot dogs type! Let’s give you some phrases that will help you at your friend’s backyard party.

Hoi, ik ben … Leuk om kennis te maken. (Hi, I’m … Nice to meet you.)Good to know: Dutch people usually shake hands when they meet for the first time. However, if you have met the other person before, you usually greet each other with three kisses on the cheeks, although two kisses or even one are quite common as well, nowadays.

Is er ook vegetarisch vlees? (Is there vegetarian meat too?)Good to know: There are quite a lot of vegetarians among the Dutch (approx. five percent of the population), so if you organise a barbecue party yourself, be sure to stock up on sufficient vegetarian hamburgers!

Wil je een wijntje, een biertje of fris? (Would you like to have a glass of wine, a beer or soda?)Good to know: If you are invited to a barbecue party, it’s quite common to bring something to drink to the party yourself too. Try not to show up empty handed …

Lekker weer hè! (What lovely weather, isn’t it?)Good to know: If you are looking for a conversation starter, the weather is always a good topic! The Dutch love to describe, praise and, of course, complain about the weather.

Start learning DutchWith these common and useful Dutch phrases, you are now equipped to take on summer in the Netherlands. Make sure to take advantage of the warmer weather by going outside and having conversations with locals!

Would you like to learn more contextual Dutch words and phrases like these and more? The Language Academy, UvA Talen’s e-learning platform, offers complete online courses in Dutch, English, Spanish, French, Italian and German at six different levels, ranging from beginner to advanced. Every course has a free trial, which contains the complete first lesson of the course. The Language Academy also gives you the option to add online conversation classes to your e-learning course. You can find more information on the Online+Teacher page.

09 June 2024, by Emily Proctor

The municipality of Amsterdam is giving away over 3.000 refurbished bikes for free to residents and charities across the city. The bikes will be sourced from depots in Amsterdam. 

Most of the 3.250 bikes will be given to refugees and asylum seekers

According to Mobilieit.nl, the majority of the 3.250 bikes will be given to refugees and asylum seekers who have no experience of cycling and would like to learn how to ride a bike safely in the Dutch capital. The city also wants to use some of the bikes to teach more children living in Amsterdam how to cycle. 

The city’s traffic alderman Melanie van der Horst wants the city’s residents to be able to travel around quickly and easily, so bikes provide an affordable alternative to public transport or driving cars. The city previously ran a similar project as a pilot programme, where 300 bikes were given away to the public – the success of that trial led the municipality to run it again on a larger scale.

Bikes to be taken from bicycle depots across Amsterdam 

The bikes will be sourced from many of Amsterdam’s full or near-full bicycle depots where the bicycles were taken (and can be reclaimed) after they were parked in the wrong place. This way, the city can remove some of the bikes that have been unclaimed in the depot for a long time, refurbish them, and give them a new life with an Amsterdam resident.

By clicking subscribe, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with our privacy policy. For more information, please visit this page.

08 June 2024, by Emily Proctor

A survey by the Radboud University in Nijmegen has found that pupils who attend schools where there is a phone ban are chatting to each other more and are better able to concentrate. Despite this, not all students are happy with the policy. 

Phone bans recommended by Dutch Ministry of Education

Phone bans are not legally required by the Dutch government in schools, but have been introduced in many schools across the country following a recommendation by the Ministry of Education in 2023. The research team from Radboud University surveyed 1.000 parents, pupils and teachers at two schools in Nijmegen before the ban and then again three months into the ban.  

Research from around the world has shown that the less time young people spend on social media, the more satisfied they are with their lives, as seen in a UK study by Nature Communications. The study, along with many others that have shown similar data, shows why some schools are keen to restrict phone usage on campus.

The researchers found that students stated they experienced less bullying due to not having mobile phones in class, and talked to each other more often. According to teachers surveyed, the school students also showed greater attentiveness and focus towards their work in class. 

Research abroad shows phone bans has little impact on grades

Despite the positive social aspects of the ban, the research is not yet able to determine whether school grades will improve. Research from Norway suggests that banning phones in classrooms does not improve student performance, even if they appear more focused in class because of the ban. 

Not all students like the ban, though. “I am forced to socialise when I’m not in the mood – which is often,” one respondent said, explaining that not having a phone could sometimes be difficult at school.

By clicking subscribe, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with our privacy policy. For more information, please visit this page.