As a result of the arrangement for immaterial compensation, the Knowledge Platform Leefbaar and Kansrijk Groningen and the Institute of Mining Damage Groningen entered into a discussion about compensation on Friday 11 June 2021. Soil movement due to gas extraction has not only led to physical damage, but also to nuisance, perceived insecurity, and sometimes chronic stress. A settlement for immaterial damage of this magnitude is unique in the Netherlands. The aim is to compensate the immaterial suffering of the victims.
In the current situation, a conversation about reparations is complicated. The reality is that many residents will struggle for years with their homes fortifications and damages. And we know this is a struggle for many. This makes for good conversation about compensation for emotional suffering of those involved. Despite this, the Knowledge Platform wants to get to work on this. On the one hand, because the IMG will implement schemes such as this from 2021, on the other, because it is of great importance that residents are well informed and given the opportunity to ask questions and express their opinion.
Ellen Giebels (Professor of Psychology and member of the IMG Board) and Bas Kortmann (Professor of Civil Law and Chairman of the IMG Board) explained the immaterial damage scheme and the dilemmas the IMG encounters in elaborating the scheme. Bas Kortmann explained the legal frameworks with which the IMG must work and Ellen Giebels discussed how such an arrangement can ensure satisfaction for residents.
Nina Huygen (Manager at the national government) took us through the lessons learned, which she learned from her work as former director of the Compensation Fund for Violent Offenses, and her current assignment for the Ministries of Health, Welfare and Sport, and Justice and Security regarding recognition measures in response to the recommendations of the De Winter committee in the file 'Violence in Dutch youth care from 1945 to the present'.
Hanneke Muthert (Adjunct Professor of Psychology of Religion) gave a reflection on the task that lies in Groningen with regard to meaning, existential and psychological suffering and what is needed for residents to be able to move on with their lives.
Tom Postmes (Professor of social psychology and scientific director of the Knowledge Platform) led the discussion.