Note: A complete copy of this letter can be downloaded here.
Dear UENL Community Members,
First, on behalf of the United Expats of the Netherlands Stichting, I want to thank every single individual that has contributed to our efforts. You have shared your stories, you have sent us ideas, you have helped our video go viral, you have joined us at Parliament, and just recently, many of you have contributed to our GoFundMe campaign so that we can continue the fight. We appreciate everything you have done to help us fight.
We understand that many of you are disappointed and frustrated with the Government’s budget proposal that was announced on 18 September. We share this feeling. As volunteers on this Council, we are giving our time and energy because we truly believe that omitting a transition period is – quite simply - unfair. We believe this issue is worth the fight. We have spent the past few months practicing diplomacy, and while doing so, have done our utmost to ensure that our efforts were fully transparent with all of you. We have relied on trusted advisors to help guide our decisions, and we have relied on the talents and expertise that are abundant among the NL expat community. But still, the budget proposal did not include a transition period.
As we announced in early September, we are not done yet. We have spent most of the summer months planning for the so-called “Plan B”, and thanks to the incredible support of the NL expat community, we are putting Plan B into place. Specifically, we are currently signing final contracts with our legal team so that we can formally commission a legal opinion to identify whether this proposed legislation is legal. We have reason to believe it is not. We anticipate that this legal opinion will be completed around 15 October, and plan to use this legal opinion during the upcoming Parliamentary debates.
Of course, with so much ‘on the line’ for members of our community, we understand that individuals have questions about our strategy and next steps. These questions are important, reasoned, and fair. As a Council, we continue to believe in transparency and want to ensure that your questions are consistently answered. To that end, starting today, we will be launching an FAQ section on our website that we will consistently update. In this way, we can best manage the influx of emails, messages, and social media posts that we receive while ensuring that our community has a clear sense of strategy and procedures in the weeks ahead. To start, in this letter, we are addressing the top 8 questions that we have received since the budget announcement on 18 September. We hope that our responses may remove any confusion or concerns, and of course, welcome your feedback.
Finally, let me just say that we do not take your trust for granted. Each member of the council is personally affected by this lack of transition period, but we are motivated by more than our personal situation – we are motivated by the trust so many of you have placed in us. We will do our utmost to maintain your trust.
On behalf of the UENL Council,
Jessica Taylor Piotrowski