The failed merger between Wijchen and Druten

Paul Iske discusses a high-profile failure at BNR every month and what we can learn from it. Listen to the item above or read and listen at This week's topic: A merger between two municipalities that the local population did not agree with.

Emotion and history takes precedence over ratio

The Gelderland municipalities of Wijchen and Druten worked closely together and had already gone through an official merger. The city council thought it was a good plan to further expand the cooperation by means of an administrative merger. This would bring all kinds of organizational and financial benefits. However, after a while it became clear that the majority of the population did not like the plan for emotional and historical reasons and did not want to know the rational reasons for supporting the merger.. The plan was eventually canceled by the municipality of Wijchen. Wijchen has launched an investigation to learn from the failed merger and despite this failure, the municipalities continue to work together.

Read and listen more on BriMis: The online environment for maximizing learning outcomes

The story of Wijchen and Druten can be found together with many other Brilliant Failed projects at BriMis is an online environment for maximizing learning outcomes. Much knowledge remains untapped. That has several causes, of which unfamiliarity with what has been done and learned elsewhere and/or in the past is one of the most important. The Institute for Brilliant Failures would like to make knowledge visible and 'liquid'. It starts with making people aware of the importance of sharing their knowledge, but also of seeking knowledge of others. There belongs a suitable (online) learning environment at, where people can share the most relevant aspects of their experiences in a fun and easy way, but in which it is also attractive to seek out the knowledge of others. Became curious? Then go to