The Netherlands

   

Social Policies

#12
Key Findings
With a generally effective policy approach, the Netherlands scores well (rank 12) with regard to social policies. Its score on this measure has declined by 0.4 points relative to 2014.

While education attainment levels are high, socioeconomic and cultural background determine school performance to a comparatively high degree. Study grants for tertiary students have been abolished and replaced by loans. The risk of poverty is very low in cross-EU comparison. The hybrid health care system is very costly by international standards, but does not have comparably good outcomes.

The government provides child benefits and maternal leave, but only two days of paternal leave. Day care is not subsidized, and is becoming a luxury item. Full-time work for women is discouraged in part by tax-system disincentives, as well as by unfavorable school times and a child-care system geared toward part-time work.

While the pension system is generally strong, a comprehensive reform is underway. With a large immigrant population, the country has a well-developed integration policy. However, ethnic discrimination in the labor market is widespread, and the government has sought to discourage refugees from coming to the country.

Education

#20

To what extent does education policy deliver high-quality, equitable and efficient education and training?

10
 9

Education policy fully achieves the criteria.
 8
 7
 6


Education policy largely achieves the criteria.
 5
 4
 3


Education policy partially achieves the criteria.
 2
 1

Education policy does not achieve the criteria at all.
Education Policy
6
In terms of quality, the average education attainment level for the population is high, somewhat exceeding the OECD average in 2015. Most recently, proposals to introduce a basic math-skills test within secondary education, as well as in primary- and secondary-level teacher-training programs, proved controversial. The Ministry of Education follows a policy in which individual schools publish their pupils’ performance (as measured by the School Inspectorate), enabling parents to choose the best or most appropriate school for their children. Quality-improvement policies – including CITO testing, performance monitoring, efforts to intensify and improve teacher professionalization programs, better transition trajectories between school types, and quality-management systems at school level – do not yet appear to be effective.



The Netherlands continues to struggle with achieving equity in educational access. Although the school performance of pupils of non-Dutch origin has improved over time (in part due to a rise in non-native adults’ educational achievements), these children on average do far less well in science, reading and math than their Dutch-origin peers. Moreover, the gap in this regard is considerably larger than the average within OECD countries. For all pupils, socioeconomic/cultural background determines school performance to a degree above OECD averages; this is particularly true for secondary education (i.e., after pupils have been tracked at age 12).

At the tertiary level, the system of equal access through study grants has been abolished, and every student now pays for university education through low-interest loans. Calculations suggest this will result in an average lifetime income loss of 0.2% for tertiary-level students. The deterrence effect of the new study-loan system will be more substantial among lower-income and ethnically non-Dutch families.

Equity in educational access for ethnic groups has not been achieved and is diminishing at the university level. There remain considerable gender gaps in education. The teaching work force is primarily female, excluding tertiary education. The number of women studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics, manufacturing and construction is low, and women are overrepresented in education, health care and welfare.

The Dutch school system stresses efficiency in terms of resource allocation. Expenditure for education is below the average for OECD countries. Among primary and secondary level school teachers, dissatisfaction with salary levels and increasing work pressure resulted in massive strikes in 2017. Relatively high levels of education attainment and school performance in the Netherlands should theoretically have a positive impact on the country’s competitiveness. And, although the Netherlands remains competitive in certain areas, the country’s track-based school system makes it difficult for the education system to adapt quickly to changing labor market needs. As a result, the Netherlands faces a shortage of skilled technical workers. Life-long learning is poorly supported by the government.

In January 2016, the national dialog on a reformed “curriculum for the future” for primary and secondary education received substantial input. The idea is to have a core curriculum (Dutch, English, arithmetic and math, digital literacy, and citizenship), specialization in one of three knowledge domains (individual and society, nature and technology, and language and culture), and multidisciplinary teaching in learning-how-to-learn, design, critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration. Over the next few years, these ideas will be systematically integrated into primary and secondary education policymaking. In higher professional training and university education, inadequate government funding will exacerbate existing challenges involving increasing student numbers, work pressure and quality issues.

Citations:
Decentraal onderwijsbeleid bij de tijd, Advies Onderwijsraad, 7 september 2017
J. Scheerens et al., n.d., Visies op onderwijskwaliteit. Met illustratieve gegevens over de kwaliteit van het Nederlands primair en secundair onderwijs (www.nwo.nl/binaries/contents/documents/nwo/algemeen/documentation)

OECD, “Netherlands,” in Education at a Glance 2016: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris (www.oecd.org., accessed 1 November 2016)

Ministerie van OCW, Onderwijs in Cijfers, 2016 (onderwijsincijfers.nl)

Platform Onderwijs 2032,Ons Onderwijs2032. Eindadvies, January 2016 ((rijksoverheid.nl. accessed 1 November 2016)

Scheefgroei inkomsten en prestaties universiteiten, Rathenau Instituut, 1 september 2017 (https://www.rathenau.nl/nl/nieuws/scheefgroei-inkomsten-en-prestaties-universiteiten, accessed 24 October 2017)

Social Inclusion

#9

To what extent does social policy prevent exclusion and decoupling from society?

10
 9

Policies very effectively enable societal inclusion and ensure equal opportunities.
 8
 7
 6


For the most part, policies enable societal inclusion effectively and ensure equal opportunities.
 5
 4
 3


For the most part, policies fail to prevent societal exclusion effectively and ensure equal opportunities.
 2
 1

Policies exacerbate unequal opportunities and exclusion from society.
Social Inclusion Policy
7
Income inequality in the Netherlands produces a score of between 0.28 and 0.29 on the Gini Index, and has not changed since 2007. In 2015, highest incomes (top ten percent) were 4.5 times larger than the lowest incomes (lowest ten percent). However, wealth inequality has a Gini coefficient of 0.894 and has increased since 2008, largely because of a decrease in the value of housing stock. In 2014, 6% of total wealth was owned by the lowest income group, while the highest owned 35%. Of the country’s home-owning households, almost 1.4 million (32%) had mortgage debts higher than the market value of their house. This number is now rapidly declining due to a rise in house prices. The average age of first-time home buyers has increased due to uncertain incomes and strict loan regulations.

Levels of health inequality in the Netherlands are high; wealthier and comparatively highly educated people live longer (on average seven years compared to low-income and less-educated populations), with healthier lives. Gender-based income inequality is high: on average, personal incomes among men (€40,200) are much higher than personal incomes among women (€23,800).

Compared to other EU countries, the number of households at risk of social exclusion or poverty is still low. But since 2008, the beginning of the economic crisis, poverty in the Netherlands has increased by one-third. Single-parent families, ethnic-minority families, migrants and those dependent on social benefits are overrepresented in this poverty-exposed income bracket. Of young people under 18 years old, 17% were at risk of poverty and/or social exclusion. However, in big cities, such as The Hague and Amsterdam, with large immigrant communities, this proportion increases to one in five. However, the risk of poverty and social exclusion in the Netherlands as a whole is just 15% (comparable to Sweden only). It should also be noted that the poverty threshold in the Netherlands is far higher than in most other EU countries (Luxembourg excepted). Responsibility for poverty policy in the Netherlands is largely held by municipal governments. Given the budgetary side effects of other decentralization policies, there are clear signs of risk for poverty policy too.

Citations:
CBS (2015), Armoede en social uitsluiting 2015, Den Haag

CBS (2016), Welvaart in Nederland 2016. Inkomen, bestedingen en vermogen van huishoudens en personen, Den Haag

CBS (2017), Monitor Duurzaam Nederland 2017: update indicatoren

“Dat opjagen van werklozen maakt armen steeds armer,” in NRC.nl, 10 April 2015

Strengere hypotheekregels blokkade voor jongeren op huizenmarkt, Finaniceël dagblad, 9 March, 2017
Gelijk goed van start, SER, January 2016 https://www.ser.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/2010-2019/2016/20160121-gelijk-goed-van-start.aspx

Health

#21

To what extent do health care policies provide high-quality, inclusive and cost-efficient health care?

10
 9

Health care policy achieves the criteria fully.
 8
 7
 6


Health care policy achieves the criteria largely.
 5
 4
 3


Health care policy achieves the criteria partly.
 2
 1

Health care policy does not achieve the criteria at all.
Health Policy
6
The Netherlands’ hybrid health care system continues to be subject to controversy and declining consumer trust. The system, in which a few big health insurance companies have been tasked with cost containment on behalf of patients (and the state), is turning into a bureaucratic quagmire. Psychotherapists, family doctors and other health care workers have rebelled against overwhelming bureaucratic regulation that cuts into time available for primary tasks. With individual obligatory co-payment levels raised to €375 (including for the chronically ill), patients are demanding more transparency in hospital bills; these are currently based on average costs per treatment, thereby cross-subsidizing costlier treatments through the overpricing of standard treatments. The rate of defaults on health care premiums to insurance companies and bills to hospitals and doctors is increasing rapidly. All this means that the system’s cost efficiency is coming under serious policy and political scrutiny.

In terms of cost efficiency, according to the new System of Health Accounts, the Dutch spend 15.4% of GDP on health care, or €5,535 per capita. The WHO’s Europe Health Report 2015 still shows the Netherlands as the continent’s highest spender on health care, spending 12.4% of GDP on health care. This is largely due to the relative amount spent on long-term care – hence the major concern among policymakers. On the plus side, care costs in 2012 rose by 3.7% – a lower rate of increase than during the previous decade, but higher than in the 2010 to 2011 period. Moreover, the number of people employed in health care was lower than in previous years. Labor productivity in health care rose by 0.6% on an annual basis, with the gains coming almost entirely in hospital care. Profits for general practitioners, dentists and medical specialists in the private sector increased much more than general non-health business profits. A proportion of health care costs are simply transferred to individual patients by increasing obligatory co-payment health insurance clauses. A means of improving patients’ cost awareness is through increased transparency within health care institutions (e.g., rankings with mortality and success rates for certain treatments per hospital).

In terms of quality and inclusiveness, the system remains satisfactory. However, Dutch care does not achieve the highest scores in any of the easily measured health indicators. Average life expectancy (79.1 years for males, 82.8 for women) and health-status self-evaluations have remained constant. Patient satisfaction is high (averaging between 7.7 and 7.9 on a 10-point scale), especially among elderly and lower-educated patients. Patient safety in hospitals, however, is a rising concern both for the general public and for the Health Inspectorate. Since 2013, waiting lists for specialist care have been a growing concern. In 2017, the problem worsened, particularly for age-related conditions, and drastically for some regions in the country with aging and decreasing populations. A combination of factors – insufficient specialists, inadequate regional distribution, lack of coordination between health care providers and insurers, and poorly managed waiting lists – requires a concerted effort by all parties.

The level of inclusiveness is very high for the elderly in long-term health care. However, there is a glaring inequality that the health care system cannot repair. The number of drug prescriptions issued is much lower for high-income groups than for low-income groups. In terms of healthy life years, the difference between people with high and low-income levels is 18 years. Recent research has also revealed considerable regional differences with regard to rates of chronic illnesses and high-burden diseases; differences in age composition and education only partially explain these differences.

Citations:
Maarse, H., Jeurissen, P. and D. Ruwaard, 2016.Results of the market-oriented reform in the Netherlands: a review. Health Economics, Policy and Law, 11,2:161-178

Commissie Borstlap, Het rapport van de onderzoekscommissie intern functioneren NZa, 2 September, 2014

Barometer Nederlandse Gezondheidszorg 2016: Transitie zorgsector zet druk op financiële performance,, EY 2016
Gezond verstand, publieke kennisorganisaties in de gezondheidszorg, Rathenau Instituut, 6 september 2017

https://www.nza.nl/publicaties/nieuws/Plan-van-aanpak-tegen-te-lange-wachttijden-ziekenhuis/

“We vertrouwen de dokter blind en de zorg voor geen meter. Hoe komt dat?,” in De Correspondent, 10 August 2015

“Terug aan tafel, samen de klacht oplossen: Onderzoek naar klachtbehandeling in het sociaal domein na de decentralisaties,” Nationale Ombudsman, 2017/035

“Toezicht op de zorg is een flipperkast,” in NRC-Handelsblad, 24 September 2015

“Waarom zijn tarieven van ziekenhuizen nog geheim?,” NRC-Handelsblad, 27 August 2016

Families

#13

To what extent do family support policies enable women to combine parenting with participation in the labor market?

10
 9

Family support policies effectively enable women to combine parenting with employment.
 8
 7
 6


Family support policies provide some support for women who want to combine parenting and employment.
 5
 4
 3


Family support policies provide only few opportunities for women who want to combine parenting and employment.
 2
 1

Family support policies force most women to opt for either parenting or employment.
Family Policy
7
Family policy in the Netherlands is formally characterized by the need to recognize a child’s best interest and to provide support for the family and the development of parenting skills. According to EU-28 data, the Dutch spend approximately 32% of GDP on social protections (health care, old age, housing, unemployment, family), but just 4% of this is spent on family costs (compared to an EU-28 average of 8%). Day care centers for young children are becoming a luxury item, as they are not directly subsidized and parents face a steep increase in costs based on higher contributions for higher taxable income. The government has established an extensive system of child protection through its policy of municipally based “close to home” youth and family centers (almost all of which had commenced operation by 2012), which are tasked with establishing a system of digital information related to parenting, education and health for every child. Nevertheless, parents complain of a lack of information about and access to youth and family centers. Local governments have in some cases violated decision-making privacy rules in the allocation of youth-care assistance. In recent years, there were several scandals involving the death of very young children due to parental abuse as a result of uncoordinated and/or belated interventions by youth-care organizations. Devolution of powers in youth health care to local government in 2016 resulted in cases where necessary psychiatric care was withheld due to a lack of financing. Particularly vulnerable children are hit by the decentralization and fragmentation of services.

In practice, child support for families is an instrument designed to improve parents’ labor market participation. Enabling a work-family balance is less of a guiding policy principle. The gap between professional women working longer hours and less educated women not participating in the labor market is growing. Almost two-thirds of mid-career women experience the combination of childcare tasks and work as difficult. Full-time female labor-force participation is hindered mainly by a high marginal effective tax burden on second earners, reflecting the withdrawal of social benefits according to family income. Consequently, in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index 2017, the Netherlands ranked 32 out of 144 countries, having ranked 16 in 2016 and 9 out of 130 countries in 2008. The drop was largely due to the inclusion of top incomes in the calculations, which revealed a glaring absence of women in highly paid positions in the country. Other factors include unfavorable school times, a childcare system geared toward part-time work, and the volatility of financing for and poor access to care policies, particularly at the municipal level.

Citations:
Nederlands Jeugd Instituut. Kennis over jeugd en opvoeding, nji.nl (consulted 2 November 2016)

“Ons vaderschapsverlof is hopeloos ouderwets,” in NRC-Handelsblad, 28 August 2015

http://www.elsevier.nl/Carriere/blogs/2013/5/Minister-Bussemaker-heeft-gelijk-eigen-carriere-is-goed-voor-een-vrouw-1252837W/

http://www.cbs.nl/nl-NL/menu/themas/arbeid-sociale-zekerheid/publicaties/arbeidsmarkt-vogelvlucht/structuur-arbeidsmarkt/2006-arbeidsmarkt-vv-participatie-art.htm

http://www.cpb.nl/publicatie/ex-post-analyse-effect-kinderopvangtoeslag-op-arbeidsparticipatie

Aantal voltijds werkende vrouwen stijgt naar recordhoogte, Trouw, 10 August 2017, https://www.trouw.nl/home/aantal-voltijds-werkende-vrouwen-stijgt-naar-recordhoogte~a7e2cdf3/

Een werkende combinatie deel 1, SER, October 2016 https://www.ser.nl/~/media/db_adviezen/2010_2019/2016/werkende-combinatie-deel1.ashx

World Economic Forum, Global Gender Gap Index, 2016

World Economic Forum, Global Gender Gap Report, 2017

Macht gemeenten ondermijnt jeugdzorg, NRC-Handelsblad, 5 November 2016
https://www.ser.nl/nl/publicaties/ser/2017/april2017/kinderen-in-armoede.aspx

https://www.lotjeenco.nl/bezuinigingen-in-de-zorg/

https://nos.nl/artikel/2200930-scoort-rwanda-echt-beter-dan-nederland-in-seksegelijkheid.html (consulted on 2 November 2017)

Pensions

#6

To what extent does pension policy realize goals of poverty prevention, intergenerational equity and fiscal sustainability?

10
 9

Pension policy achieves the objectives fully.
 8
 7
 6


Pension policy achieves the objectives largely.
 5
 4
 3


Pension policy achieves the objectives partly.
 2
 1

Pension policy does not achieve the objectives at all.
Pension Policy
8
The pension age has increased from 61 years in 2007 to 64 years and 9 months in 2016. The Dutch pension system is based on three pillars. The first pillar is the basic, state-run old-age pension (AOW) for people (now) 66 years old and older. Everyone under 66 who pays Dutch wage tax and/or income tax pays into the AOW system. The system may be considered a “pay-as-you-go” system This pillar makes up only a limited part of the total old-age pension system Because the current number of pensioners will double over the next few decades, the system is subject to considerable and increasing pressure. The second pillar consists of the occupational pension schemes which serve to supplement the AOW scheme. The employer makes a pension commitment and the pension scheme covers all employees of the company or industry/branch. The third pillar comprises supplementary personal pension schemes that anyone can buy from insurance companies.

Although the system is considered the best after those in Denmark and Australia, like most European systems, it is vulnerable to demographic changes (related to an aging population) and disturbances in the international financial market. As of 2013, the government gradually increased the age AOW pension eligibility to 66 by 2018 and 67 by 2021. For supplementary pension schemes, the retirement age rose to 67 in 2014. However, is becoming clear that for some types of jobs, mainly physical labor, a retirement age of 67 is not feasible due to health problems. Employers are reticent in hiring aged workers for fear of high health care costs. At the same time, paradoxically, higher educated people retire a year earlier on the average, because they can afford it.

As a result of very low interest rates, pension fund assets, although still enormous (€660 billion or 193% of GDP), have not grown in proportion to the number of pensioners. The liquidity ratio of pension funds must be maintained at a minimum threshold of 105%. The timeframe for recovery after not meeting this threshold was increased by the Dutch national bank from three to a maximum of five years. In spite of this, quite a few pension-insurance companies had to lower benefits. Interim framework bills for strengthening the governance of pension funds (conditions for indexation of pension benefits, pensioners in the government board, oversight commissions, comparative monitoring) were adopted by parliament in the summer of 2014.

A more definitive reform of the Dutch pension system is still pending. Debate focuses on the redistributive impacts (on the poor and rich, young and older, high and low education) and on the creation of more flexible pension schemes that give individuals more choice opportunities versus retaining collectively managed pension schemes. The government is still considering long-term retirement policies, hoping that its social partners, employers’ organizations and trade unions in the Socioeconomic Council will work out a compromise.

Citations:
Ministerie van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid (2014), Toekomst Pensioenstelsel (www. Rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/pensioen/toekomst-pensioenen)

CBS (2016), Pensioenleeftijd voor negende jaar omhoog (www.cbs.nl, consulted 2 November 2016)

Rijksoverheid, Kabinet presenteert koers naar beter pensioenstelsel (rijksoverheid.nl. consulted 2 November 2016))

Bovenberg, L., Pensioeninnovatie in Nederland en de wereld: Nederland kampioen in pensioen?, in TPE Digitaal, 8, 4, 163-185

Den Butter, F., Pensioenadvies SER blind voor ongelijkheid, MeJudice, 18 February 2015

https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2017/01/03/langer-werken-kan-iedereen-dat-6008279-a1539595

Integration

#16

How effectively do policies support the integration of migrants into society?

10
 9

Cultural, education and social policies effectively support the integration of migrants into society.
 8
 7
 6


Cultural, education and social policies seek to integrate migrants into society, but have failed to do so effectively.
 5
 4
 3


Cultural, education and social policies do not focus on integrating migrants into society.
 2
 1

Cultural, education and social policies segregate migrant communities from the majority society.
Integration Policy
7
As 4% of the population is foreign-born, the Netherlands is a sizable immigration-destination country, with a considerable integration task. In 2011, the Netherlands ranked fifth in the Migrant Integration Policy Index, which compares 37 industrial countries; in 2015, the county ranked 15. The country scores relatively high on measures of labor mobility and access to citizenship for migrants, but low on measures of access to family reunion and permanent residence. It attains average scores for criteria such as education, anti-discrimination policy, health and political participation.

In a 2017 public opinion poll on immigration and integration issues, 31% spontaneously named immigration and integration as the second most important public concern, only after healthcare. In summer 2017, the first serious cabinet formation effort broke down over the issue of migration. In view of occasional riots and disturbances at municipal council meetings on the location of refugee settlements, integration issues flared up again.

Since 2009, all non-EU nationals who migrate to the Netherlands are required to learn Dutch and about Dutch society. The Civic Integration Abroad policy involves obligatory integration tests in the country of origin for family reunion applicants. Refugees are expected to “deserve” their status in the Netherlands by taking language tests and many refugees accumulate debt paying for language courses, which are also difficult to find and are often of unreliable quality.

Compared to other countries, immigrants benefit from several measures targeting employment and labor market integration. Nevertheless, unemployment rates among non-Western migrants are three times as high (16%) as among Dutch-born citizens (5%). This difference is somewhat less pronounced within the 15 to 24 age group but remains twice as high. One in three young migrants without a formal school qualification are unemployed. Although the Dutch recognize and disapprove of discrimination more compared to other European countries, they still think that discriminated minorities are “exaggerating” and should “get used to it.” Recent research shows that ethnic discrimination in the labor market is widespread and difficult to sanction. Muslim citizens’ self-reported discrimination experiences and perceptions, and incidents of harassment and violence, are among the highest in Europe.

Citations:
T. Huddlestone et al., Migrant Policy Integration Index (2011) (www.mipex.eu)

Migrant Integration Policy Index 2015. Integration Policies: who benefits? (http://mipex.eu/sites/default/files/downloads/files/mipex_integration-policy_policy-brief.pdf consulted 7 November 2016)

Burgerperspectieven 2017|3, Sociaal Cultureel Planbureau (scp.nl, consulted 26 October, 2017)

Nederlands Jeugdinstituut, Jeugdwerkloosheid (nji.nl, consulted 26 October 2017)

Aanpak Jeugdwerkloosheid, Samen met de steden (aanpakjeugdwerkloosheid.nl, consulted 7 November 2016)

de Waal, T. M. (2017). Conditional belonging: A legal-philosophical inquiry into integration requirements for immigrants in Europe, UVA, Amsterdam
http://fra.europa.eu/en/publication/2017/eumidis-ii-muslims-selected-findings

Additional references:
http://www.scp.nl/Publicaties/Terugkerende_monitors_en_reeksen/Monitor_Integratie
http://www.scp.nl/Publicaties/Alle_publicaties/Publicaties_2012/Jaarrapport_integratie_2013

Safe Living

#19

How effectively does internal security policy protect citizens against security risks?

10
 9

Internal security policy protects citizens against security risks very effectively.
 8
 7
 6


Internal security policy protects citizens against security risks more or less effectively.
 5
 4
 3


Internal security policy does not effectively protect citizens against security risks.
 2
 1

Internal security policy exacerbates the security risks.
Safe Living Conditions
7
Since 2010, opinion polling has shown that confidence in the police is consistently high and satisfaction regarding policing performance is fairly high (28% of those polled express that they are “very satisfied”). Research shows that this is independent of the actual conduct and performance of police officers. The Integral Safety Monitor for 2010 reported that one in four people aged 15 years and over claimed to have been the victim of a commonly occurring crime (such as vandalism, fraud or violence). In 2015, this had decreased to one in five (18%). The longer-term trend (2005 – 2014) shows a decrease in self-reported victimhood by one-third. However, only 25% of victims of traditional crimes reported these to the police (27% in 2015).

Cybercrime rates (hacking, internet harassment, commercial and identity fraud, cyberbullying) remained stable in 2015. Illegal cryptographic software and phishing have become standard cybercrimes. In 2015, 11% of the population were victims of cybercrime, while three-quarters of cybercrime cases were not reported to the police. In research commissioned by McAfee, the American Center for Strategic and International Studies estimated that cybercrime costs the Dutch economy approximately €8.8 billion per year (or 1.5% of GDP). Recent studies have concluded that the Dutch police lack the technical expertise to effectively tackle cybercrime. Since 2011, the Dutch government has been implementing an EU-coordinated National Cybersecurity Strategy that prioritizes prevention over detection. Regarding terrorism threats, the intelligence services (Nationale Coordinator Terrorismebestrijding, established 2004) appear able to prevent attacks. Fighting terrorism and extremism, and anticipating political radicalization and transborder crime have increased in priority.

The policies of the present government focus on cost reduction, and the centralization of the previously strictly municipal and regional police, judicial and penitentiary systems. In 2015, the Dutch government spent €10 billion (a reduction of €3 billion from 2010) on public order and safety (police, fire protection, disaster protection, judicial and penitentiary system). Recent reports indicate serious problems in implementing reforms, with policy officers claiming severe loss of operational capacity. A scandal about lavish spending by the national Policy Works Council has drawn parliamentary attention to possible mismanagement by the former national head of police and a former Minister of Safety and Justice. Meanwhile, there is profound discontent and unrest inside the Ministry of Justice and Safety. Judges and other legal personnel have voiced public complaints about the “managerialization” of the judicial process and the resulting workload for judges, leading to “sloppy” trials and verdicts. The government intends to save €85 million in 2018 by cutting legal assistance to (poor) citizens. Government policy is attempting to relieve part of the burden on the judicial system by introducing intermediation procedures. Recently, a number of scandals in the food industry have exposed the shortcomings of a system aimed at balancing food safety and the interests of the agricultural sector.

The overall picture from the safety and security, and judicial institutions of the Dutch government is one of increasing stress and challenge.

Citations:
L. van der Veer et al., Vertrouwen in de politie: trends en verklaringen, Politie en Wetenschap, Apeldoorn, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, 2013

Criminaliteit en rechtshandhaving in 2014. Ontwikkelingen en samenhangen, WODC en CBS, Raad voor de Rechtspraak, 2015

Cybersecuritybeeld Nederland CSBN 2015, Ministerie van Veiligheid en Justitie (rijksoverheid.nl)

Cybersecuritymonitor 2017, CBS, https://www.cbs.nl/nl-nl/publicatie/2017/06/cybersecuritymonitor-2017, consulted on 29 oktober 2017

Evaluatierapport van de zevende wederzijdse evaluatie “De praktische uitvoering en toepassing van het Europese beleid inzake preventie en bestrijding cybercriminaliteit.” Rapport Nederland, Raad van de Europese Unie, Brussel, 15 April 2015 (zoek.officiele bekendmakingen.nl, consulted 26 October 2015)

Publieke regie’ in Groningen:Publiekrechtelijke schadeafhandeling en het vertrouwen in de overheid, Nederlands Juristenblad 2017/1576

https://decorrespondent.nl/7388/onze-gezondheid-wordt-bewaakt-door-de-minister-van-boerenzaken/1611292671736-051d24e6

Veiligheidsmonitor, 2016 ((veiligheidsmonitor.nl, consulted 7 November 2016(

Global Inequalities

#11

To what extent does the government demonstrate an active and coherent commitment to promoting equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries?

10
 9

The government actively and coherently engages in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. It frequently demonstrates initiative and responsibility, and acts as an agenda-setter.
 8
 7
 6


The government actively engages in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. However, some of its measures or policies lack coherence.
 5
 4
 3


The government shows limited engagement in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. Many of its measures or policies lack coherence.
 2
 1

The government does not contribute (and often undermines) efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries.
Global Social Policy
5
From 2011 to 2014, Dutch real development aid (total budget minus 23% for increasing expenses for refugees and asylum-seekers) was cut to 0.7% of GDP or €4.5 billion, then to 0.52% of GDP or €3.5 billion in 2015, and to €2.7 billion in 2016. In addition, costs for climate policy will be allocated to development aid budgets. Expenditure on international conflict management has added to the diminishing state budget for development aid. In the Commitment to Development Index, which ranks the 27 richest countries, the Netherlands ranking has been generally stable, although it has fallen from two out of 21 countries in 2005 to four out of 27 in 2015.

Aid is no longer focusing on poverty reduction alone, but also on global sustainable and inclusive growth, and on success for Dutch firms in foreign countries. The driving idea is that “economic diplomacy” can forge a coalition between Dutch business-sector experts (in reproductive health, water management and food security/agriculture) and business and civil society associations in developing countries. No cutbacks in the areas of women’s rights or emergency aid have been made. Good-governance aid will be focused on helping developing countries to improve taxation systems. Following OECD guidelines, there will be a reassessment of the negative side effects of Dutch corporate policies in developing countries.
The Dutch policy response to the recent refugee crisis has mimicked Denmark’s efforts, seeking to discourage refugees from coming to the Netherlands.

All of this shows declining commitment by the Dutch government to global policy frameworks and a fair global-trading system; the aspiration is instead to link development aid to Dutch national economic- and international-safety interests.

Citations:
WRR (2010), Minder pretentie, meer ambitie. Ontwikkelingshulp die verschil maakt, Amsterdam University Press

Nieuwe agenda voor hulp, handel en investeringen, april 2013 (www.rijksoverheid.nl/nieuws/2013/05/04/nieuwe-agenda…)

Center for Global Development, Commitment to Development Index, 2015 (consulted 8 November 2016))
Ontwikkelingsresultaten in beeld 2016, http://www.osresultaten.nl (consulted 29 october 2017)

Additional references:

Aanbiedingsbrief Meerjarige Strategische Plannen, 5 February 2014

Volkskrant, 24 september 2015, ‘Blamage’: budget ontwikkelingshulp daalt tot 0,52 procent bnp (Volkskrant.nl. consulted 7 November 2016)

De Correspondent,Nederland steekt het meeste ontwikkelingshulpgeld in…Nederland ()De Correspondent B.V., consulted 8 November 2016)
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