Stichting GOED: striving to bring Dutch people abroad together

This article is about Stichting GOED – Grenzeloos Onder Een Dak, written by Antonietta Sgherzi.  This article is in English, for Nederlands visit

Stichting Grenzeloos Onder Een Dak (GOED) is a nonprofit foundation, established in early 2019 to connect over one million Dutch people living outside the Netherlands. This Foundation is the first official advocacy organization striving to bring hundreds of existing Dutch associations, organizations, clubs and online communities, spread out over the world, together under one roof.

To get a better understanding of the activities and importance of the GOED Foundation, they answer a few questions:

Why should the Dutch Government, when drafting its policies, take Dutch citizens living abroad into consideration?

Firstly the majority will maintain a close tie to their Dutch roots. Secondly they will contribute in bilateral international trade and are the true worldwide ambassadors of the Netherlands. They are proud to be Dutch and will also pass this on to the next generation(s).  The children, who return to the Netherlands to study or work, should not be ignored, they are multi -lingual, adapt easily to different cultures and situations and are a great asset to The Netherlands. Therefor the government should treasure them, and taking away their Dutch nationality, is not the right approach! The existing policies, laws and regulations often result in many problems and frustrations for Dutch citizens abroad.

Why is the GOED Foundation necessary?

The GOED Foundation strives to improve the communication with the government, authorities and politicians to resolve these problems.

Nowadays everything gets digitized, however not for The Dutch abroad…

The NIHB – Dutch Abroad organization is the initiator of The GOED Foundation and carried out a successful passport campaign in April 2018. With the results of the worldly filled in survey they drew attention to the fact that Dutch people abroad often have to travel thousands of kilometres to renew their passport. If that isn’t enough, they also have to travel long distances to physically retrieve a DigiD activation code (login code for online government services) in the Netherlands or at one of the few available embassies. Is the code not working? Sorry, then you have to travel back to The Netherlands.

Some other examples of failing digitisation;

  • People who receive a pension abroad, have to regularly send the “proof of being alive” form, which is often not digitized and/or coordinated with the various pension funds. If the form is lost in the post or simply arrives too late, a small AOW pension can be blocked for months.
  • Voting from abroad? The ballot paper also has to be returned by post, which can often mean, it does not arrive on time and many votes get lost, as a result.

And so the list goes on…

The loss of the Dutch Nationality

As a rule, you will lose your Dutch nationality if you voluntarily acquire another nationality (there are three exceptions) or of if you’re allowed dual nationality, but don’t renew your passport in time (outside of the EU), you will lose it. There are still too many people who do not realise this. The Court of Justice recently ruled on the Tjebbes case, which creates some hope for people who lost their Dutch Nationality. However, a lawsuit must first be initiated to convince the court that you are in fact Dutch enough. The GOED Foundation strives to realise a general pardon for all Dutch people, who lost their Dutch nationality, without being aware. Those people who have lost their Dutch nationality are often upset and bewildered, and consequently feel betrayed and discriminated against, by the Dutch government.

The GOED Foundation wants to change the mindset of the Political parties who oppose dual nationality and objects to the upcoming new nationality law – ‘moderinisering van de nationaliteitswet’. Which obliges the next generation to choose at 18 years old between the Dutch nationality or another one.

Many emigrants remain strongly connected to the Netherlands, even the second and third generation. The Dutch government should be proud of their Ditch citizens abroad, as many other countries do, but instead they take away their citizenship and economize on and even omit government services.

To summarize, it is about time that Dutch citizens abroad, are valued and treated the same way as their fellow countrymen in the Netherlands.

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The GOED Foundation is a politically neutral interest group for all Dutch people living abroad. The Foundation wants to gain broad support for the promotion of the interests of Dutch nationals abroad, especially with regard to specific obstacles or restrictions that go together with living and / or working abroad and with keeping their Dutch nationality.



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