The Netherlands is gradually emerging from a double-dip recession with strengthened public finances and reforms on track to improve the labour and housing markets and the health care and pension systems. These reforms are paying off, says the OECD. Growth is expected to reach 1% this year and 1.3% in 2015.
Strengthening the balance sheets of banks and households can benefit the economy as a whole. Sharpening innovation policy can contribute to advancing the country’s competitive edge in key sectors. And improving urban and territorial policy can help ensure that Dutch cities maximise their potential in terms of productivity and lifting living standards across the country, said OECD Secretary-General.
This Territorial Review of the Netherlands covers 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.
Mr. Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD, visited The Hague on 23 and 24 April 2014 to present the 2014 Economic Survey of the Netherlands as well as the OECD Review of Innovation Policy and the Territorial Review of the country. During his stay, Mr. Gurría held bilateral meetings with HRH Queen Maxima, Prime Minister Mark Rutte, various members of the Dutch government, and business and trade union representatives.
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.
Encouraging more people to work later in life would help the Netherlands meet its growing challenges of a rapidly ageing population and rising social spending, according to a new OECD report.
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 highlights the past successes of Dutch water management, examines potential weaknesses for the future and suggests ways to put the system on a more sustainable footing.