"World Diplomats"

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Lowlands 2025 Scenario1.jpg

Stabilizing (2005- 2012)
The government is investing in infrastructure, with the main goal to build on the long term strength of the Netherlands in the transportation and trade industry. For the short term the investments focuses on railroads, waterways, and roads. For the longer term the decision is made to build a new international cargo airport close to the Rotterdam port. The realization of this airport is expected by the 2016. The money for all these investments is partly provided by the income from the gas reserves. Also savings in agriculture and culture provide the necessary funds for these infrastructure investments.

The unemployment level is declining. One of the reasons for this is a decrease in labor participation as a result of the aging population. To reverse this decrease in the labor participation, mainly participation of females and immigrants, social incentives like child care, tailor made training are put in place. The unemployment is also declining because of all the jobs that are created for the realization of all infrastructure projects, where part of these jobs are also taken by the non-western immigrants. The prospective of a strong international transportation hub has a positive effect on education and research. Mainly within ICT, business and banking the number of students increases. The industry works together to start a new logistics research institute. This institute attracts new start-up companies with a focus on ICT and logistics. Examples of research is a widely spread use of RFID and Vendor Managed Inventory. The growing knowledge position within transportation and trade helps attracting knowledge immigrants.

The living environment in the Lowlands is changing towards a more social environment. Part of this is the social benefits for increasing the labor participation. But also a change can be seen in the media, which have a more positive outlook on the living environment in the Lowlands and also on the global challenges. This positive media outlook is partly driven by the popularity of the lighthearted national scenario planning quiz on TV. This quiz creates awareness around social problems and also helps people to become more forward looking and opportunity spotting. Consequently the multicultural interest is increased and ethnic integration improves. On both the social and on the economical level, the Lowlands are becoming a more important player in the EU.

Economic upturn (2012 – 2018)
The investments in infrastructure are showing results. First the investments in railway, waterway and road give an increase to the trade and transportation sector. The opening of the airport in 2016 results makes this sector grow even further. This growth has a positive effect on the GDP growth in the lowlands. Also the growth in this sector shows a further decline of the unemployment rate. Overall this results in a stabilizing difference within income inequality. With the overall positive economy, the government doesn’t put up economic trade barriers to protect the local market. The increase in the transportation and trade sector also help to cover the decline in income of the national gas reserves.

The investments in the knowledge economy have been minor successful. The percentage of technology students (except ICT) is still lower than the percentage in most neighbor countries. This is reflected in the innovation in the high tech industry, where the number of major innovation is slightly declining. The overall education level is increasing. This increase is mainly seen in the sectors ICT and business. The government also increases the money spend on security.

The level of social security is increasing in these years. This is possible because of a declining unemployment level. This social security is reflected by good unemployment benefits but also the social benefits put in place before for child support and tailor made training. The social security also takes care of the growing retired population. This is realized by the extra income from the growing trade and transportation sector. The social environment shows a positive change which is due to the positive influence of the Millenials. This generation is grown up in a multicultural environment and their behavior results in higher ethnic integration. In 2013 a new moderate political party is started. The moderate view points of this party attract many Muslims voters and with the elections in 2014 this party immediately gains 20% of the votes. Also the moderate viewpoints help the acceptance of this party within the whole population. Also this has a positive effect on the ethnic integration. Another positive effect on ethnic integration is the decreasing unemployment among non-western immigrants which gives them the possibility to move out of their ‘non-western’ neighborhoods in the big four cities and integrate with the locals. The positive changes in the Lowlands are also recognized on an international level. An important result of this is awarding the Olympic Summer Games of 2032 to Rotterdam which again gives an increase in infrastructure projects but also has a positive influence on tourism.

Important global player (2018-2025)
All the investments in the trade and transportation sector really pay off and the Lowlands are a leading player in the world trade. The international cargo airport and the Rotterdam port play important roles in this position. This position also is a major impulse for the ICT (logistics) and the banking sector. Overall this result in a low unemployment figure (4.1%) and an average increase of GDP of 2.1 %. The strong economic position gives the government the ability to keep the social security system for the unemployed and retired populations in place.

With the low unemployment and a good social security system in place the income inequality in the Lowlands is still declining. This decline has a positive effect on crime rates, which are also declining. Together with the money invested in security also the terrorism threat in the Lowlands shows a serious decrease. This also strengthens the position of the Lowlands on both the EU and global level. The increasing ethnic integration and positive media trends now show of in an increase in tolerance and respect.

The flourishing economy also helps to get the Lowlands an important position within the EU. Within many aspects the Lowlands are able to use their vision in steering decisions, mainly the decision about social issues. This also helps with socialization of the EU. On a global level the social and economical position of the Lowlands is also recognized. The main result of this is that the diplomats of the Lowlands are called in the help solving major conflicts within the world. The international court in The Hague also plays an important role within this position of a world diplomat.

The preparations for the Olympic Games are started. The first plans for building new sport facilities are in place and also plans for new hotels and the Olympic Village are drawn by some major Dutch architects. The major logistic companies have signed up for sponsorships to help financing the Olympic Games.

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