OECD Reviews of Regulatory Reform: Regulatory Reform in the Netherlands 1999

The Dutch experience in regulatory reform has vital lessons about the modernisation of the European welfare state and its integration into the European single market. Regulatory reform is the most recent element in the reshaping of the Dutch model. Following reforms to labour markets and the social welfare system in the 1980s, Dutch governments in the 1990s have sought a "new balance between protection and dynamism" based on competition policy, regulatory reform, and market openness. Today, the Netherlands ranks among the top OECD countries by many measures of economic performance, including employment growth. Though still in its early phases, regulatory reform has already produced major gains for the Netherlands in terms of competitiveness, flexibility, and consumer benefits. Yet major challenges are still to be faced. Some important reforms have been slow, indicating that the balance between domestic consensus-building and policy responsiveness is still being adjusted in the modern Dutch model. Further reforms in many areas will bring important gains in boosting the employment rate, improving sectoral performance, and providing social protection at lower cost. The Netherlands is one of the first OECD countries to request a broad review by the OECD of its national regulatory practices and domestic regulatory reforms. This report -- the result of intensive assessment by the OECD and review by its Member countries -- is unique in that it presents an integrated assessment of regulatory reform in framework areas such as the macroeconomic context, the quality of the public sector, competition policy and enforcement, and integration of market openness principles in regulatory processes, and in sectors such as electricity and telecommunications. The policy recommendations present a balanced plan of action for both short and longer-term based on best international regulatory practices.

06 Oct 1999 269 pages English Also available in: French

https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264173774-en 9789264173774 (PDF)

Author(s): OECD