Schengen Area is 27 years old
The Schengen Agreement, which was signed in the Schengen town of Luxembourg on 14 June 1985 and entered into force in 1995, abolished border controls between many European countries and paved the way for free travel.
The Schengen Agreement, which provides free movement between European countries, is entering its 27th year at a time when the measures are starting to be lifted, while going through a troubled process for 2 years due to the Kovid-19 epidemic.
The Schengen Agreement, which was signed in the Schengen town of Luxembourg on 14 June 1985 and entered into force on 26 March 1995, abolished border controls between many European countries and paved the way for free travel.
Initially signed between Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, many European countries became involved over the years.
Schengen Area, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Iceland, Liechtenstein consists of Norway and Switzerland.
Border practices between the aforementioned Schengen member 26 countries are not carried out under normal conditions. However, with the onset of the epidemic, this situation quickly changed.
Member states can close internal borders for reasons such as public safety and health. In order to prevent the spread of Kovid-19, many European countries have decided to close their borders.
According to the latest data from the EU Commission, France is currently implementing border control due to Kovid-19. For reasons other than the epidemic, Germany, France, Norway, Austria, Estonia, Sweden and Denmark are officially applying temporary border controls.
With the Kovid-19 epidemic, European countries quickly closed their borders. This situation threatened the Schengen Agreement, which formed the basis of the EU and provided free movement.
The cessation of free movement caused disruptions in the integrated supply chain of Europe and interruptions in the flow of goods and services.
In 2015, when there was an intense influx of refugees, European countries suspended Schengen and started to strictly control their borders, preventing the passage of asylum seekers.
Due to the Russia-Ukraine war, a large number of Ukrainian asylum seekers come to EU countries.
According to the data of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, between February 24 and March 22, 3 million 626 thousand 546 refugees from Ukraine, more than half of them to Poland, crossed into neighboring countries.
Hundreds of thousands of refugees from Ukraine to neighboring countries also pass through to other European countries.
It is noteworthy that, as in the previous refugee crisis, no restrictions were imposed on Ukrainians.
Bloesem Park in Amsterdam heralds spring
Cherry Blossom Park (Bloesempark), located in Amsterdamse Bos in Amstelveen, has turned pink thanks to the cherry blossoms that herald spring.
The largest Japanese community in the Netherlands resides in Amstelveen in the Amsterdam region, as most of the international companies are located in Amstelveen.
According to Japanese tradition, families celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival (Hanami Matsuri) every spring. In this festival, a picnic is held under the cherry trees with families and friends. The festival continues during the flowering period of the trees, the festival lasts for 10-14 days as long as the weather permits.
The trees that bloom in March or April also herald the beginning of the festival. The spring festival kicked off this week, with the trees blooming in the park in Amsterdamse Bos.
The cherry trees in Amstelveen were donated by the Japanese Women’s Club (JWC) in 2000. There are female names on every tree in the park. 200 of the trees bear the names of Japanese women, and the other 200 bear the names of Dutch women.
200,000 euro reward for reporting the Netherlands’ most wanted drug smuggler
The Netherlands’ most wanted drug trafficker, Jos Leijdekkers, is suspected of being in hiding in Turkey.
The reward for those who will contribute to the capture of the gang leader, also known as “Bolle Jos”, has been increased to 200 thousand Euros.
Jos’s mother and sister, and recently his father, were detained on the charge of “providing assets with illegally collected income” and were released pending trial. A large number of precious jewels were seized during a search of the family’s homes and workplaces.
Jos, on the other hand, had left the country some time ago with some members of his gang. Jos is suspected of hiding in Turkey. Travels of family members to Turkey in the last August and December reinforce this suspicion.
Temporary lease agreements may be banned in the Netherlands
Temporary leases can be lifted for most people in the Netherlands due to a bill passed by parliament.
Since 2016, landlords have been allowed to offer one- or two-year contracts to tenants to make property rentals more attractive. This meant that tenants were repeatedly evicted after two years and had to either look for a new home or pay a very high rent increase. But a growing number of lawmakers said they were concerned that limited-term contracts would put tenants in a difficult position and exaggerate rental prices.
“In 2016, temporary contracts were offered with the thought that more rental properties would be available, but it was not thought that this would become the norm,” said Henk Nijboer, a housing spokesperson for Labor Party PvdA.
The bill, which will be discussed in parliament on Thursday evening, is expected to achieve a majority when it is put to a vote next month, despite the opposition of Mark Rutte’s party, the VVD.
Documentation supporting the members’ bill states that although residents are constitutionally entitled to affordable housing, there is a shortage of approximately 300,000 housing units in the Netherlands. A reference by Companen is also cited in these documents, which reveals that one-third of new private tenants sign short-term contracts.
The new bill will include exceptions, such as if the landlord works abroad temporarily or wants to move back home, and temporary student rooms.
Antwerp city of Belgium became the city where cocaine is used most widely in Europe
The annual wastewater analysis of the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) revealed that Antwerp, Belgium, is the most widely used city of cocaine in Europe this year as well.
Researching drug use rates by analyzing European wastewater each year, the EMCDDA took samples to measure the use of cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, ectasy, ketamine and cannabis in 104 cities in March and April 2022.
Accordingly, cocaine use was particularly high in cities in Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.
Compared to the rates in 2021, it was found that cocaine use increased in 38 cities in 2022.
The city of Antwerp, in the Flemish region of Belgium, topped the list of cities with the highest traces of cocaine in wastewater.
Antwerp was followed by cities such as Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Tarragona in Spain, Brussels in Belgium and Zurich in Switzerland.
While the average daily amount of cocaine residues in wastewater in Antwerp was 2 thousand 381 milligrams, it was measured as 1161 in Tarragona, Spain, 1142 in Amsterdam, 985 in Brussels and 931 in Zurich.
In January, Belgium and the Netherlands seized a total of 160 tons of cocaine, approximately 110 tons in Antwerp and around 50 tons in Rotterdam, as a result of their cooperation in the fight against international drug trafficking.
Cocaine seized at the port of Antwerp this year was the highest ever, after 89.5 tonnes in 2021.
Tomorrow at Eindhoven Airport, there will be actions of climate activists
People who were supposed to be at Eindhoven Airport on Saturday may be disturbed by the actions of climate activists.
As a result, it may be more difficult to reach the airport. Climate action group Extinction Rebellion’s show is expected to begin by 13:30 noon. It is planned to be on the boulevard, next to the terminal.
The airport advises passengers to prepare well for their travels and to follow the website for up-to-date flight information. Extinction Rebellion expects about five hundred performers.
A spokesperson for the group said in a statement that participants can try to enter the airport area, as they did at Schiphol Airport last November. Protesters then jumped over the fence and chained themselves to private planes. “But to be honest, I don’t think it’s very wise. This is military territory.”
The action group wants, among other things, Eindhoven Airport to stop polluting the environment, cancel unnecessary flights and give flights a fair price.
Fatboy branded electric blankets recalled in the Netherlands
NVWA announced that some of the electric blankets belonging to the Dutch firm Fatboy were overheated and were recalled on the grounds that there was a risk of ignition.
The Dutch Food and Consumer Goods Safety Authority, NVWA, has warned consumers about the Fatboy brand “Hotspot” blankets. In the NVWA warning, it was stated that the blankets were overheated and the heating mechanism inside the blankets could catch fire.
NVWA; advised that consumers who have purchased the product before should never use the blankets. The Fatboy company, on the other hand, stated that the blankets with the code numbers specified in the warning published on its website were recalled as a precaution.
In the company statement, it was stated that the heating equipment of the blankets without the lot number on them and the blankets with the lot number 20022519, 2002520 or 2002593 were recalled.
According to the company statement, consumers who have blankets with or without a printed lot number, have to remove the heating component inside the blanket and send it to the company. After this process, the purchase price will be refunded to the consumer.
You can remove the heating assembly inside the blanket as follows:
Unplug the blanket from the outlet
Open the Velcro part, disconnect the wires and remove with the red label
After disconnecting, the battery can be easily separated
Remove the black charging cable with magnetic charging point
remove the adapter
Pack the red-labeled cables, battery, charging cable, and adapter in a box or sturdy envelope and ship to Fatboy.
If you purchased the product on the website of Fatboy, fill out the form on this link.
For products purchased from other sites, fill out the form on this link.
Veiligheidswaarschuwing Fatboy Hotspot blanket. Het is mogelijk dat het verwarmingselement in de Hotspot Blanket van deze batches plaatselijk oververhit raakt en ontbrandt. Gebruik dit product niet!https://t.co/jNop7vEgnf pic.twitter.com/QssTWQ1Irk
— Nederlandse Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit (@_NVWA) March 21, 2023
A warning was made in the Netherlands not to use it for an antifreeze brand
A brand of antifreeze used for vehicle windows during the winter months is recalled because it contains more methanol.
More excessive amounts of methanol were found in a brand of washer antifreeze used to clean car windows in the Netherlands. The company recalls its products, which are sold in 2 and 5 liter drums.
In the statement made by Power Oil, it was stated that more than normal toxic methanol was detected in Power Winter antifreezes, and the products were recalled due to this substance, which would be harmful to health.
In the company statement, it was stated that the products to be recalled were 2 and 5 liter drums with the barcode number 8717953205629.
Power Oil pointed out that there are two versions of this product with the same barcode, and emphasized that the recall only applies to cans with blue caps.
The products recalled in the statement; It was stated that from September 2022 until 7 March 2023, sales were made at gas stations in the regions of Overijssel, Gelderland, Friesland, Zuid Holland, Limburg, Groningen, Noord Holland and Zeeland.
In the company statement; A call was made that the products contain toxic methanol at a level that users may face the risk of blindness and death, and that the products should not be used.
Europe switches to summer time
At the end of this week, daylight saving time, which foresees more use of daylight, will be implemented. Clocks will go forward one hour.
In accordance with the summer-winter time application, which is applied to benefit more from sunlight during the day and to save energy, the clocks will be advanced one hour at the end of this week.
Clocks in Europe will go forward one hour at 02:00 on the night connecting Saturday, March 25 to Sunday, March 26.
In the vast majority of digital instruments, the clocks automatically switch to summer and winter, but analog instruments need to be adjusted.
Summer-Winter time application first started in 1916
The practice of summer and winter times was first used in the German Empire, Austria-Hungary, and Great Britain during the First World War in 1916. This practice was aimed at increasing the daylight saving time.
In a survey study conducted with the participation of 4.6 million Europeans across Europe in 2018, 84 percent of the participants stated that the adjustment of the clocks especially disrupted the biological rhythm of the person and wanted the application to be removed.
The European Union (EU) also made an attempt in 2019 to end the discussions that started at that time, and the proposal not to change the clocks was presented to the European Parliament (EP).
In the same year, the AP approved that the clocks not be changed, but between countries “which is better if we end this practice: summer time or winter time?” the question came up. However, with Brexit, the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the rise in energy prices, the issue was forgotten on the dusty shelves where it was removed in 2019.
Daylight Saving Time has been in effect in the Netherlands since 1916.
In the Netherlands, summer time came into effect in 1916. However, after that, different rules were applied. For example, from 1946 to 1976, there was no daylight saving time. Since 1996, summer time starts on the last weekend of March and changes to standard time, ie winter time, on the last weekend of October.
Number of people seeking euthanasia on the rise in the Netherlands
The number of people seeking euthanasia in the Netherlands, which is the first country in the world to grant the right to euthanasia for those over the age of 12, increases by 10% every year.
Applications to the Euthanasia Specialization Center, which enables terminally ill patients to end their lives, are increasing. According to the last annual report announced by the Center, there was an 11 percent increase in the number of applications made last year compared to 2021.
According to the report published by the institution; In 2022, 4 thousand 159 people applied for euthanasia and 1240 people were euthanized. In 2021, 3 thousand 689 people applied to the institution and 1117 of them were euthanized.
Approximately one-third of the applications made to the Euthanasia Specialization Center, previously known as the Association for Ending Voluntary Life (NVVE), result in euthanasia. Two-thirds withdraw the application or do not meet all the requirements of the euthanasia law.
In the Netherlands, where the legal right to euthanasia is granted to terminally ill patients, certain conditions set by the law must be met in order to obtain this right. Applications to the Center; It is made by patients whose euthanasia requests for any reason are not accepted by their home doctors and who have no hope of recovery.
In an article in the Trouw newspaper on the subject, it was pointed out that the population is getting older and that this situation has increased the number of people who want to end their lives. According to the newspaper, the fact that people wanted to make decisions about their own lives and that euthanasia became more well-known also caused the numbers to increase.
Applications increase by an average of 10% each year
The number of euthanasia requests is increasing by an average of 10 percent each year. According to the information obtained, 1796 applications for euthanasia were made in the Netherlands in 2016 and 2 thousand 500 applications in 2017. The number of applications made to the institution in 2021 was 3 thousand 689. In 2020 alone, numbers fell due to the center being temporarily closed due to corona measures.
Netherlands first country to implement euthanasia law
The Netherlands became the first country in the world to grant euthanasia to those over the age of 12 in 2002. However, the right to die for those under the age of 12 was introduced for the first time in Belgium.
In 2014, Belgium legalized the right to euthanasia for children under the age of 12 who have no hope of recovery and are in great pain.
Screen addiction is increasing in children aged 0-6 in the Netherlands
Screen time is increasing among children aged 0-6 in the Netherlands. Experts say that this situation negatively affects the development of the child.
According to the annual research by Netwerk Mediawijsheid, very young children in the Netherlands are also spending more and more time in front of the screen, which negatively affects their development.
Parents who participated in the study stated that they were generally satisfied with the balance between sleeping, moving and sitting with their children, and 80 percent thought it went well. However, the data show that the situation is not as the parents think. Especially children in the 0-6 age group spend more and more time in front of TV, smartphone or tablet.
Average time in front of the screen is 100 minutes
Families with children between the ages of 0 and 6 participated in the study. According to the results obtained; One out of every four parents with children in the 0-1 age group allows their child to sit in front of a tablet or television for at least 2 hours a day.
Children up to the age of six spend an average of 100 minutes a day on digital media, and this number has been increasing in recent years.
In 2021, children in the 0-6 age group spent an average of one and a half hours a day in front of the TV, smartphone or tablet. Last year, children in this group spent seven minutes longer in front of a screen a day.
Researchers say that spending time in front of the screen for a long time harms the development of young children, and physical activities are limited because children perform this activity by sitting more. Experts emphasize that movement is essential for the health and development of young children.
What can be done in this situation?
Researchers state that in addition to reducing the time the child spends in front of the screen, parents can also set an example for the child by limiting their own screen time.
According to the organization, half of the parents surveyed are aware that they can set an example for their child in this way, but have difficulty regulating their own screen time.
Researcher Anouk Tuijnman states that it is as important for parents to encourage “diversity” as paying attention to their own behavior. “There has to be diversity not only between different activities, but also between the way a child performs an activity, sitting or moving,” Tuijnman said. says.
Causes sleep and developmental disorders and obesity
Sleep and language development can be impaired in children who are less active. In addition, this situation invites obesity. Another negative result of being in front of too many screens is the deterioration of the eyes and triggering myopia.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that young children up to the age of 2 preferably use as little media as possible, and that children up to the age of 5 should be in front of a screen for a maximum of 1 hour a day.