The Role of the Third Sector in the Netherlands
Current international discussions about a special contribution of the third or nonprofit sector to the solution of mass unemployment and related problems of social integration are somewhat peculiar from a Dutch perspective for at least two reasons. The first is that there is no mass unemployment and the second is that there is nothing special about the nonprofit sector. Discussions about the labour market and the nonprofit sector in the Netherlandswere until the middle of the year 2002 about (public and nonprofit) education and health care being seriously understaffed and about how to make employment in these areas more attractive. Because of the economic recession and rising unemployment this is now seen as a less severe problem, and in 2003 there is some discussion about the negative effects of cuts in public spending, also for special jobs and reintegration programmes for long-term unemployed, but no debate about a positive role of the nonprofit sector to fight mass unemployment.
KeywordsLabour Market Civil Society Welfare State Voluntary Work Nonprofit Sector
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