Frans Bieckmann is former executive director and editor in chief at The Broker. He left The Broker in december 2017. He is currently employed as Strategic Advisor at the Gemeente Amsterdam. Frans has a degree in international relations at the University of Amsterdam and has 30 years’ experience as a researcher, journalist and advisor on issues in development and globalization. In August 2012, Frans published the book Soedan – Het sinistere spel om macht, rijkdom en olie, a detailed analysis of international involvement with Sudan and the conflict in Darfur.
After far-reaching cutbacks and a major shift in the mandate in favour of the Netherlands’ economic interests, Dutch development aid seems to be on its last legs. The relief troops have lost their way and are unable to mount a forceful counter-attack.
Former Editor in Chief Frans Bieckmann argues in this editorial article that social enterprises will only really succeed if they can operate in a global economic system that rewards them for being competitive on fair, social, and environmentally sustainable grounds instead of on costs.
The debate on development policy, between ‘traditional’ aid and ‘modern’ cooperation centred around trade and economic activity, is a false one. The latter is advocated in a new white paper by Dutch minister Lilianne Ploumen, but is in fact a continuation of the policy pursued by the former government. For an alternative approach, we should take an example from the Norwegians.
At the end of the 1990s I wrote a lot about the alter-globalization movement. The movement really hit the headlines with the mass protests in Seattle and Washington and later in Prague and Genoa, and with the first gatherings of the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil.