Structural reform in the Netherlands 2013-2018 (CR 2018)

  • Project lead:
  • Andreas Reinstaller

Structural reforms are an important element of the European Semester, as they aim to raise productivity, economic growth, employment, social welfare, etc. Specific fields of attention within the European Semester are, amongst others, the business environment, labour markets and skills, the green economy and fiscal stability. In early 2019 the European Commission will publish further country reports for the various member countries. In order to prepare and inform the work on these publications, the Commission requested to assess the (need for) structural reforms in the Netherlands. The specific objective of this study is "to identify past, present, and pending structural reforms in the Netherlands for the period 2013-2018 and to analyse and report on their origins and the intended and actual impacts". Due to the forward-looking character of this study, specific attention is given to "pending structural reforms" and whether these can contribute to the overall prosperity of the Netherlands and the European Union. The results show that the Netherlands is a RDI frontrunner, but private RDI investments lag behind the innovation leaders. Private R&D expenditures are slightly below EU average, well below benchmark countries. Dutch R&D intensity is thrice as low in "giant" companies. Dutch R&D intensity is far below the EU average in professional services. The study identifies the need for labour market reforms, especially with regard to flexible jobs. There is no evidence that flexwork hurts productivity.