Tue Aug 31st, 2021 at 10:47:07 PM EST
Dutch Cabinet is expected to allocate another 6 to 7 billion euros to reduce CO2 emissions
Lifting the lid on lobbying, enhancing trust in public decision-making in The Netherlands | Lobbywatch - April 2015 |
Dutch society has little insight on who is lobbying whom, with what means and to what end. When undertaken with integrity and transparency, lobbying can be a legitimate way for stakeholders to access public policy development and implementation. But, with hardly any regulation, the lobbying landscape in the Netherlands is opaque. Lacking even a definition of lobbying, the discussion on the desirability of lobbying or regulation of lobbying is often bogged down in platitudes.
This lack of regulation does not mean that all lobbying happens in the dark. Nor does it mean that the lobbying sector is small or silent. On the contrary, it is an active and growing sector. This is partially due to the nature of Dutch politics, which can be described as continuously striving for consensus and the creation of broad-based support (the polder model). One reason for the increase in lobbying activity may be new forms of partnership between government and the private and non-profit sectors. The latter presents new challenges for public officials and politicians to make objective policy and decisions. This - combined with the fact that citizens actively wear several different "hats" and fulfil various roles as they contribute to society - may prove a risky combination, potentially leading to undue influence in decision-making.
Since the turn of the century, there have been some developments regarding the regulation of lobbying. In 2001, the largest association of lobbyists (BVPA, Beroepsvereniging voor Public Affairs), introduced a code of ethics for its members, and, in 2012, the House of Representatives installed a "Lobbyist Register".4 Both initiatives are limited in their effectiveness, however, due to their voluntary nature, their (practical) applicability and shortcomings in enforcement.
Furthermore, the integrity framework for public sector employees does not specifically cover lobbying-related issues; information about what lobbyists and decision-makers discuss is only piecemeal; and there are few rules on public disclosure regarding input from (informal) consultations, and even fewer on proactive disclosure by lobbyists.
The lobby by VNO-NCW against legislation on corporate accountability
For a long time, VNO-NCW, the national employers' federation in the Netherlands, has been a fierce opponent of legislation that obliges companies to address human rights abuses and environmental damage taking place in their value chains. Now that the introduction of such legislation appears inevitable, VNO-NCW, together with its European umbrella organisation BusinessEurope, is trying tolimit and weaken the substance of these new rules, as new research from SOMO on the lobbying tactics of both organisations reveals.
For years, civil society organisations and trade unions have been calling for the introduction of legislation on corporate accountability. Such legislation would make companies responsible for preventing and mitigating abuses in their value chains. Voluntary initiatives, such as the Responsible Business Conduct (RBC) Agreements in the Netherlands or philanthropic projects, have failed to prevent structural human rights violations and environmental damage - such as child labour, deforestation, and exploitation - taking place in global value chains. In 2020, responding to several critical policy evaluations, the Dutch government, the European Parliament, and the European Commission finally decided to introduce legislation that addresses corporate accountability.
Mark Rutte will do his utmost to frustrate the asylum procedure for Afghan interpreters and family members ... what an asshole! 😡
My earlier diary ...
Will Rutte's Falsehoods Catch Up With Him?
Germany's CSU minister Horst Seehofer on Syrian refugees ...
Angela Merkel, CSU's Horst Seehofer Clash Over German Policy for Migrants | WSJ - Nov. 2015 |
On Afghan asylum seekers ...
Germany warns EU against setting target of Afghan refugees