Mayor says expats are sorely needed and most welcome

Mayor John Jorritsma with the Eindhoven News' Melinda Walraven and Irene Martins.

For the last six months, the Eindhoven Municipality has been gathering so-called deep data about internationals living in this city. This is according to Mayor John Jorritsma, who was recently interviewed by the Eindhoven News.

“This is quantitative as well as qualitative data about our international community,” he said. “It has not been entirely completed yet but this information tries to answer a myriad of questions.”

“Like, what kind of internationals are there in the city and what are their age range and profession? Where do they live, how much do they earn, and do they want to stay? Do they have children? Where do these children go to school?

“It is so important for us to be able to measure these things. Then we can see if we are doing the right things,” Jorritsma said. This data was collected by the Municipality of Eindhoven, the Belastingdienst, and the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Thorough survey

“We combined the information from these organisations,” added Thijs van Son, the Mayor’s spokesperson. “We also compared the information gathered in other Dutch cities in Brabant, such as Utrecht. It is a very thorough, scientific, ongoing survey,” he explained. He says they focused on three neighbourhoods and also did interviews with the residents.

“It is a very extensive survey. Now we are trying to transfer this quantitative data to qualitative data,” Mayor Jorritsma continued. He indicated that this information will be given to company CEOs and SMEs in Eindhoven, who employ internationals. This exchange will be done at the end of the year. “We are now in the analysing phase.”

“From this data, we can see what we have to do to help internationals feel at home. We want you to stay. We need you so badly,” emphasises the Mayor. “From the first results I have seen, it seems like internationals feel really accepted in this city and the region.”

Small minority of locals not happy

This survey also indicated that there is a small group of locals who are not happy with this influx of internationals. “I think this group is of a certain socio-economic background. They are often socially isolated and then it is easy to say, ‘oh, those internationals, they are earning my money, they are taking the food out of my mouth, they have my house’.”

“The survey shows that the internationals in Eindhoven are well accepted,” said the Mayor. “Absolutely.”

This is part two of a five-part series. The follow-ups will be published in the upcoming days.

By: Melinda Walraven

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