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06/09/2013
Economy and Finance, Europe 2020, Industrial Changes, Transport and Communication

Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth
The Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth gives voice to the willingness of many parties to work on making our society and our economy sustainable. A sustainable energy supply is an indispensable component of that process. The agreement unites divergent interests and brings together more than forty organisations – including central, regional and local government, employers’ associations and unions, nature conservation and environmental organisations, and other civil-society organisations and financial institutions. It is based on the awareness that a long-term perspective means placing the common good far above the separate interests of either individuals or organisations and that it also means a growth path defined by energy and climate objectives as well as by feasible and necessary gains in competitiveness, employment, and exports.

23/08/2013
Labour

Broadening support for collective agreements
The collective agreement system currently enjoys satisfactory support. This system is vital for labour relations in our country. However, with a view to the future, parties to collective agreements must continue to work for broad support, e.g. by getting employers and employees more involved in collective agreements and particularly by engaging employees more effectively in the drafting of such agreements. These are the conclusions of an advisory report issued by the Social and Economic Council on 23 August 2013.

01/06/2013
Economy and Finance, Labour

Handmade in Holland (2013/02)
Abstract of advisory report With an annual turnover of 110 billion euros, the skilled trades are a vital link in the Dutch economy and society as a whole. In the next few years, however, skilled workers will be in increasingly short supply, mainly because fewer young people are opting to train for a skilled occupation. In an advisory report to the Dutch Government, the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER) is making recommendations to reverse this trend.

19/04/2013
Economy and Finance

Dutch economy in calmer waters: A macro-economic exploratory survey
Why is the Dutch economy finding it so much more difficult to recover from the financial and economic crisis than its neighbours? It is because the Netherlands – much more than neighbouring countries – is affected by the negative interaction between the housing market, the banking sector, and the pensions system. This exploratory survey attempts to clarify these macro-economic interactions. One important conclusion is that these problems are typically “Made in Holland” and will therefore need to be tackled with our own “Dutch Design”. SER’s exploratory survey Dutch economy in calmer waters: A macro-economic exploratory survey is has been presented by to the Ministers of General Affairs, Economic Affairs, Finance, Social Affairs and Employment, and Housing and the Central Government Sector.

12/03/2013
Others

Annual report 2012
The year 2012 was marked by a number of striking changes in and around theCouncil, with potentially far-reaching consequences. By that, I do not just mean thechange that is significant for me personally, namely my acceptance of thepresidency of the Council, as successor to Alexander Rinnooy Kan. Far moredecisive for the Council and the climate “in the polder” were the changes within theunion movement and the advent of the second government led by Mark Rutte. Atthe end of 2012, the media referred to a revival of the “polder model” (i.e. theconsensus model).

12/03/2013

Annual report 2012
The year 2012 was marked by a number of striking changes in and around theCouncil, with potentially far-reaching consequences. By that, I do not just mean thechange that is significant for me personally, namely my acceptance of thepresidency of the Council, as successor to Alexander Rinnooy Kan. Far moredecisive for the Council and the climate “in the polder” were the changes within theunion movement and the advent of the second government led by Mark Rutte. Atthe end of 2012, the media referred to a revival of the “polder model” (i.e. theconsensus model).

12/03/2013

Annual report 2012
The year 2012 was marked by a number of striking changes in and around theCouncil, with potentially far-reaching consequences. By that, I do not just mean thechange that is significant for me personally, namely my acceptance of thepresidency of the Council, as successor to Alexander Rinnooy Kan. Far moredecisive for the Council and the climate “in the polder” were the changes within theunion movement and the advent of the second government led by Mark Rutte. Atthe end of 2012, the media referred to a revival of the “polder model” (i.e. theconsensus model).

12/03/2013

Annual report 2012
The year 2012 was marked by a number of striking changes in and around theCouncil, with potentially far-reaching consequences. By that, I do not just mean thechange that is significant for me personally, namely my acceptance of thepresidency of the Council, as successor to Alexander Rinnooy Kan. Far moredecisive for the Council and the climate “in the polder” were the changes within theunion movement and the advent of the second government led by Mark Rutte. Atthe end of 2012, the media referred to a revival of the “polder model” (i.e. theconsensus model).

12/03/2013

Annual report 2012
The year 2012 was marked by a number of striking changes in and around theCouncil, with potentially far-reaching consequences. By that, I do not just mean thechange that is significant for me personally, namely my acceptance of thepresidency of the Council, as successor to Alexander Rinnooy Kan. Far moredecisive for the Council and the climate “in the polder” were the changes within theunion movement and the advent of the second government led by Mark Rutte. Atthe end of 2012, the media referred to a revival of the “polder model” (i.e. theconsensus model).

12/02/2013
Economy and Finance, Labour

Make it in the Netherlands!(2013/01)
The Netherlands’ prosperity, its economy and Dutch higher education will all benefit enormously if talented foreign students can be persuaded to study in the country and remain after graduating. Companies, public and non-profit organisations, educational institutions and government should make more vigorous joint efforts to attract and retain foreign students. Employment and labour market shortages should play a much more important role than they do now. These are the recommendations that the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands makes in a draft advisory report on retaining talented international students, entitled Make it in the Netherlands!. The report is addressed to the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Ms Jet Bussemaker

21/12/2012
Labour

Occupational health and safety system
A properly functioning occupational health & safety (OHS) system is necessary to ensure the long-term deployment and productivity of the workforce. The OHS system should prevent situations in which individuals suffer an injury or illness and are forced to call in sick due to their work or working conditions. This is particularly important because people will need to work for a longer period of their lives and because the labour market is expected to grow tighter in the long run. For all these reasons, the Social and Economic Council makes various recommendations with respect to occupational health and safety in this advisory report. The report is addressed to the Dutch Minister of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) and offers a response to a 20 April 2012 request for advice concerning the Government’s approach to an occupational health and safety system.

20/12/2012
Economy and Finance, International Policies, Social Policies

ICSR progress report (second half of 2012 and work programme 2013)
Economic sectors, companies and participating organisations have made the environment and corporate social policy in the production chain fixed items on their ICSR agendas. ICSR is not an endgame issue, however; it evolves as social circumstances worldwide continue to change. In 2013, the Social and Economic Council’s ICSR Committee will concentrate on due diligence (risk analysis), and in particular on human rights, in its ICSR reports.

16/11/2012
Climate Change, Economy and Finance, Industrial Changes, Transport and Communication

Towards an Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth
This advisory report is the Social and Economic Council’s response to the Rutte Government’s request for advice on energy and the economy, submitted on 5 June 2012. The request focuses in particular on the opportunities and threats for Dutch trade and industry arising from climate change, the rising cost of energy, the growing demand for fossil fuels worldwide, and increasing global competition. The Council considers the election of a new Government the ideal time to revive efforts to develop a robust, future-proof energy and climate policy. Such a policy should be consistent over the longer term and respond to major issues associated with energy and climate change and the opportunities and threats arising from those issues for businesses, institutions (schools, hospitals, housing corporations), and individual citizens.

19/10/2012
Economy and Finance, Labour, Social Policies

Towards accessible, affordable and good quality healthcare
On 19 October 2012, the Social and Economic Council issued an interim advisory report setting out proposals for a future-proof healthcare system. The aim of the proposals is to provide for affordable, accessible, and good quality healthcare, both now and in the future. Rising costs are putting pressure on access to healthcare and its quality; they are also increasing the burden for households and employers, something that may be detrimental to the economy and employment. The Council believes it is necessary to make fundamental changes in long-term care and to improve the system of healthcare insurance. It has formulated various proposals in that regard and outlined these in an interim advisory report. The Council has moved forward publication of that report in connection with the formation of the new Government. The Council will publish a more detailed advisory report on the same subject in early 2013.

30/06/2012
Economy and Finance, International Policies, Labour, Social Policies

International Corporate Social Responsibility: Final Evaluation
In its final report, the Social and Economic Council's International Corporate Social Responsibility Committee (ICSR) observes that ICSR and sustainability have been added to the agendas of many enterprises and industries in recent years. Businesses are making a real effort in this area, and ICSR is consequently functioning as a driver for new products and markets.

15/06/2012
Economy and Finance, International Policies, Labour

The shifting balance of economic power
The dominance of the West is declining with the emergence of such economies as China and India, and the economic balance of power is shifting eastwards. Because emerging economies grow more rapidly, wealthy nations are losing their advantage in terms of prosperity. But a trading nation such as the Netherlands can also profit from the growth of prosperity elsewhere in the world. It is not a “zero sum game”. In this advisory report, the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands makes suggestions for a broad policy agenda that has the potential to lead to a fair, sustainable form of globalisation. It also explains how the Netherlands can benefit from this process. This will, however, require Dutch policymakers at national level to create an attractive business location climate and to make the adjustment processes easier for citizens, employees and enterprises. In addition, the Netherlands must use its influence in international circles to steer the process of globalisation in a fair and sustainable direction, working through such channels as economic diplomacy and by concluding trade agreements as well as treaties and conventions within such bodies as the OECD, the ILO, the World Bank and the IMF. International rules are decisive for the growth and distribution of prosperity in the world. Ultimately, the aim is to arrive at a better balance between the economic, social and ecological interests of present and future generations.

12/06/2012
Economy and Finance, Local Policies

Alternative consumer dispute resolution in the EU
At the end of 2011, the European Commission presented two complementary proposals intended to help consumers resolve disputes with businesses without needing to have recourse to the courts. One proposal is for a directive regarding the alternative resolution of consumer disputes (“ADR”); the other is for a regulation regarding the online resolution of such disputes (“ODR”). The Commission considers that both consumers and businesses will benefit from these measures because they will enable them to resolve disputes quickly, simply, and effectively without recourse to the courts. This can increase consumer confidence where cross-border transactions are concerned, and thus promote the operation of the internal market. In the present Advisory Report, the Committee for Consumer Affairs (CCA) of the Social and Economic Council (SER) responds to a request for advice from the Dutch Government. The CCA is made up of members representing consumers and businesses, as well as independent experts. In Section 2, the CCA provides a general review of the matters concerned. In Section 3, it deals with specific components of the proposals. Section 4 deals with the ODR regulation.

20/04/2012
Labour

Working on training: advisory report on the post-initial training market
The training market for working people must become more dynamic. The importance of training for the working population is increasing; at the same time, however, the training participation rate in the Netherlands is showing signs of stagnation. Training providers must do more to key into the rapidly changing requirements of enterprises, workers and job-seekers. They must also guarantee that their programmes and courses are of good quality, transparent, and accessible. Those demanding training must in turn make their training requirements clear, and they must do a better job of coordinating their demand. These are the conclusions of an advisory report concerning the training market for working people issued by the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands.

24/10/2011
Others

The valorisation of science (address by Alexander Rinnooy Kan)
Address by Alexander Rinnooy Kan, SER NL President, at the STW (Platform of Technology Foundation) Annual Congress, 6 October 2011

24/10/2011
Europe 2020, International Policies

Advisory report 2011/10: Development through sustainable enterprise (abstract)
A mature private sector is a critical factor for countries wishing to take advantage of globalisation. Effective economic cooperation with developing countries should therefore focus on promoting local enterprise as the driver of sustainable growth and decent work, including the enabling environment. Through international corporate social responsibility Dutch companies can make a significant contribution to sustainable growth in developing countries, in close cooperation with the social partners and civil society organisations. Specific measures implemented within the context of development cooperation policy can increase the impact of this contribution. In this advisory report, the Social and Economic Council discusses these measures. It prepared the report in response to a request for advice from the Dutch Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation.

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