AMSTERDAM/BRUSSELS - The Dutch Language Union is unique in the world; nowhere else do two countries cooperate so closely in a policy area. They have been doing so since 1980, when the Netherlands and Belgium concluded the Language Union Treaty. In it they solemnly declared their joint commitment to spread the Dutch language throughout the world.

They also had a burning ambition on their own soil: the integration of the Netherlands and the Dutch-speaking community in Belgium in the field of the Dutch language and literature.

Over forty years later, the question is whether that desire is still of our time. The language experience in Flanders and the Netherlands is actually drifting apart. A review committee came to the conclusion at the end of 2021 that it is necessary to provide clarity once again about the Taalunie's right to exist. And things are also rumbling within the organization itself. Internal struggles are causing unrest in international neerlandistiek and the Dutch Lower House recently brutally sidelined the Taalunie.

Daan Stoop

Daan Stoop is a journalist and web editor at De Groene Amsterdammer.

Tomas Vanheste

Tomas Vanheste is a Belgian investigative journalist.
€4.740 allocated on 30/09/2022.