World Mayor Awards

Job Cohen

City Mayors


Job Cohen, mayor of Amsterdam is runner-up of World Mayor 2006.

In 2nd place:
Job Cohen, Mayor of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Job Cohen, Mayor of Amsterdam, boasts an enviable record in national and city politics, academia and broadcasting, with plaudits from a range of opinion makers for his inclusive approach to politics and city life. In 2005, Cohen was named one of Time magazine’s ‘European Heroes’ for his stand on the notorious murder of film-maker Theo van Gogh in an Amsterdam street in November 2004. Cohen led the city’s people in street protests, calling for unity and tolerance. Since the murder, which Cohen himself was targeted by the assassin, the mayor has sought to bring together the capital’s immigrant communities to facilitate dialogue against extremism, both by and directed at Muslim immigrants, in order to maintain its famous reputation for tolerance and liberal attitudes. In an essay, which opens with lines from Jacque Brel’s ‘In the port of Amsterdam’, Mayor Cohen writes: “Amsterdam, a modern city with all the problems, opportunities and, above all, its special aspects, is one of the smallest ‘world cities’. Some 170 nationalities make up its 750,000 inhabitants.” One commentator agreed wholeheartedly: “In a city like Amsterdam, with citizens from over 170 national backgrounds and an equally diverse ethnic population, the importance of understanding ethnic relations and their sensitivities cannot be overestimated. Among many Amsterdam people, there have been serious suggestions for Mr Cohen to take up the candidacy for Prime Minister. I’m convinced that Mr Cohen’s role as a mayor will be remembered for a very long time after he completes his term, in a positive way. It would be very good if he became the winner of World Mayor 2006, because it would mean a boost to those who work for harmony and peace – which in the current trends are not widely appreciated by the popular media.”

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