It has to change in the House of Representatives. That is the conclusion of the investigation into transgressive behavior in the Dutch parliament. But actually bringing about that change can pose difficulties, according to public administration expert Leonie Heres, who co-wrote the study.
She emphasizes that patterns and mechanisms in the House of Representatives pose a risk to public safety. ‘It is an incredibly complicated environment to properly guarantee social safety,’ says Heres. ‘The need is high, but the degree of difficulty is also very high because of the type of organization.’
Heres emphasizes that there is no single cause for the problem. Instead, it is precisely the combination of different factors that entail risks in terms of social insecurity. ‘That is also reflected in the report,’ she continues. ‘At the same time, the things that should help against social insecurity appear to be insufficiently effective.’
However, she says that it is not all doom and gloom at the Binnenhof. On the contrary. The majority of respondents indicate that they feel socially safe in the House of Representatives. “But there is certainly a part that feels less safe, and that should also be addressed,” Heres continues.
Part of that insecurity lies in the complexity of the working environment, where she says there is little room for error. ‘The environment around the House of Representatives imposes a high workload, which means that the room for error is extremely limited,’ she says. ‘And then you get a closed system – which seeps through the organization, as it were, and that manifests itself on all kinds of fronts.’