The Dutch economy has been traditionally very competitive among OECD countries. The global financial crisis however has brought new challenges, especially during the second shock, from 2011 onwards. The government’s recovery plan, which includes various measures such as fiscal consolidation, stimulating innovation and sub-national government reform has an important territorial dimension. This review focuses on how sub-national institutions and development can help the Netherlands meet its challenges. In the short-term, factors such as the contribution of all regions, better use of resources, and more efficient provision of goods and services can help the recovery. In the long term, improving national competitiveness will largely depend on a strong performance of the polycentric city structure, which characterises the Netherlands. The key policy areas explored in this review include: the recently created top-sector innovation policy; decentralisation; and territorial reforms such as municipal and provincial re-scaling through mergers or co-operation.
Since the last review in 2008, the Netherlands has attracted investment in oil and gas storage; coal, oil and gas import terminals; and efficient power plants. This additional capacity provides flexibility and energy security both in the Netherlands and across EU markets. However, the outlook for Europe’s second-largest producer of natural gas is challenging amid declining gas production and uncertain prospects for unconventional gas. Developing the remaining natural gas potential, the market integration and ensuring the security of supply and resilience of the energy infrastructure during the transition should be top priorities.
The Netherlands stimulates energy efficiency and innovation in energy-intensive industries along the whole supply chain, notably in the Dutch refining, petrochemical and agriculture sectors, a practice that contributes to industrial competitiveness.
Despite successful decoupling of greenhouse-gas emissions from economic growth between 1990 and 2012, however, the Netherlands remains one of the most fossil-fuel- and CO2-intensive economies among IEA countries. In September 2013, the Netherlands reached an agreement with key stakeholders on priority actions to support sustainable economic growth through 2020. In addition to implementing the agreement, the government must set the scene for a stable policy framework up to 2030, which is also crucial for renewable energies.
The Netherlands has accelerated permit procedures for new energy infrastructure and is driving technology cost reduction with reformed renewable support. The country can benefit from further interconnections with neighbouring countries, as renewables become an integral part of wholesale and balancing electricity markets in the EU.
This review analyses the energy policy challenges currently facing the Netherlands, and provides recommendations for each sector. It gives advice on implementing the Energy Agreement and how to leverage international opportunities from clean energy technologies. It is only available in PDF format.
Given the ageing challenges, there is an increasing pressure in OECD countries to further boost the employability of the working-age population over the coming decades. This report provides an overview of policy iniatives implemented over the past decade in the Netherlands and identifies areas where more should be done, covering both supply-side and demand-side aspects. To give better incentives to carry on working, the report recommends to promote longer contribution periods in the second-pillar pension schemes, and ensure better information and transparency of pension schemes, with a special focus on groups with low financial literacy. On the side of employers, it is important to progress towards more age-neutral hiring decisions and wage-setting procedures with more focus on performance and less on tenure and seniority. To improve the employability of older workers, the focus should be to promote training measures for older unemployed which are directly linked to a specific job. The large diversity in municipal "Work-First"programmes should be utilised in designing mor effective activation policies targetted on those at risk of losing contact with the labour market.
The average worker in the Netherlands faced a tax burden on labour income (tax wedge) of 36.9% in 2013 compared with the OECD average of 35.9%. The Netherlands were ranked 20 of the 34 OECD member countries in this respect.
English, PDF, 317kb
This note presents key findings for Netherlands from Society at a Glance 2014 - OECD Social indicators. This 2014 publication also provides a special chapter on: the crisis and its aftermath: a “stress test” for societies and for social policies.
This report assesses the extent to which Dutch water governance is fit for future challenges and sketches an agenda for the reform of water policies in the Netherlands. It builds on a one-year policy dialogue with over 100 Dutch stakeholders, supported by robust analytical work and drawing on international best practice.
Il identifie comment transformer les ports en instruments de développement urbain en évaluant l’impact des ports sur les villes et les régions avoisinantes et comparant les politiques qui visent à augmenter les impacts régionaux positifs et à minimiser les effets négatifs.
Green growth in the Benelux - Indicators of local transition to a low-carbon economy in cross-border regions - Final report
This paper discusses the results of the 2011-2012 OECD LEED study of measuring green growth in the Benelux countries (Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg). The study paid particular attention to the challenges of measuring the transition to a low-carbon economy in cross-border areas as they have additional levels of complexity when it comes to measuring and monitoring their low-carbon transition.