Polish Public TV TVP Polonia visited Horst aan de Maas and Meterik and talked with the mayor of Horst aan de Maas, Mr Kees van Rooij about the examples of a fantastic integration of Polish immigrants in this region.
Mr van Rooij said that Polish immigrants had come to this part of the Netherlands in the 80s and quite often stayed outside the town in the caravans. He says it was inhumane and therefore their idea was to welcome the immigrants whole-heartedly since when they feel welcome they behave as guests.
Two police officers Ger Cox i Tiny Verhaegh while asked by the Polish TV why they learn to speak Polish they answered: ”Polish immigrants speak Dutch so we can learn to speak Polish.”
TVP Polonia talked also with Ms Krystyna Gorska, the director of the Polish Information Center who was awarded the order of merit of the Republic of Poland for her input for Polish immigrants.
Mr van Rooij is the president of the project ”Het belang van arbeidsmigranten” (the importance of migrant workers) with municipalities of Horst aan de Maas, Venray, Peel en Maas, Venlo, Leudal. The project won the Honorary Polonus award in November 2016. ( Honorary Polonus: a person or organisation that contributes significantly to the integration of Polish people in the Netherlands or contributes significantly to promoting the knowledge about Poland)
North Limburg municipalities Horst aan de Maas, Venray, Peel en Maas, Venlo and Leudal decided to break the negative image of migrant workers and as the first municipalities in the Netherlands decided to ensure that Poles were perceived as neighbours, fellow citizens of the region and not just the ‘immigrants”.
The project “The importance of migrant workers” is an example of successful cooperation of national government authorities, regional authorities and migrant workers, whose aim is to welcome new neighbors and involve them in the region. This regional project has become an example for regions throughout the Netherlands and beyond. It showed the true face of Poles, as hard-working new neighbours, who together with the Dutch want to start their new life in the Netherlands.
You can watch the programme here: http://polonia24.tvp.pl/28202987/12122016-integracja-w-holandii