Regulatory policy

Better Regulation in Europe: Netherlands



Contents | Executive summary | How to obtain this publication | More information 

Better Regulation in Europe: Netherlands

The EU 15 Better Regulation project is a partnership between the OECD and the European Commission. It draws on the initiatives for Better Regulation promoted by both organisations over the last few years.


The OECD report, including recommendations on Better Regulation in the Netherlands are available by clicking on each chapter heading below.


The Executive Summary (pdf format) contains the OECD assessment and recommendations.


Chapter 1: Strategy and policies for Better Regulation

  • There has been steady progress over a number of years and across successive governments in the development of Better Regulation policies.
  • Other policies and programmes reflect significant efforts to extend Better Regulation beyond central government and beyond the Netherlands.
  • The development of an integrated policy perspective including all the elements of a balanced Better Regulation agenda would help to give Dutch Better Regulation a long-term vision.

Chapter 2: Institutional capacities for Better Regulation

  • The establishment of the Regulatory Reform Group has been a major step forward in providing a clearer focus for Better Regulation.
  • An effective institutional framework has also been established for sharing the Better Regulation agenda with the local levels of government.
  • The need for further support for, and culture change among, implementing ministries needs to be addressed.

Chapter 3: Transparency through consultation and communication

  • There is a need for rapid improvement of public consultation as an integral part of effective regulatory management.
  • The introduction of common commencement dates is a very positive step forward. 

Chapter 4: The development of new regulations

  • Although impact assessment has been established a long time, there is widespread agreement that the current process is in practice unsatisfactory, weak and ineffective.
  • A single integrated, standardised process will help to give impact assessment the focus it needs to be adopted by ministries.
  • The Ministry of Justice efforts to draw attention to consideration of alternatives to regulation need support and further development, including and not least as part of an enhanced impact assessment process.

Chapter 5: The management and rationalisation of existing regulations

  • Achievements with the regulatory burden reduction programme have already been considerable by international standards, and the Netherlands’ 2003-07 policy identified the main elements of a successful model which has been replicated elsewhere.
  • A new phase has opened up, with the establishment of an ambitious, broad and well-designed new policy.
  • There are considerable and possibly unexploited synergies between the citizen programme and the business burden reduction programme.

Chapter 6: Compliance, enforcement, appeals

  • The Netherlands has engaged in pioneer work to ensure that compliance and enforcement are considered at the start of the rule making process.
  • There has also been steady development toward a new risk-based approach and structures for enforcement.
  • The current Framework Vision is ambitious as well as quite precise in its goals; careful evaluation of progress is essential if credibility and momentum are to be sustained.

Chapter 7: The interface between the national level and the European Commission

  • Consciousness of the importance of EU origin regulations in shaping the national regulatory environment is high, and the Netherlands are active participants in the development of EU level Better Regulation strategies.
  • Well structured processes are in place for the negotiation and transposition of EU regulations.
  • The framework is more effective in securing a sound procedural performance than in addressing issues of substance arising from EU regulations.

Chapter 8: The interface between sub national and national levels of government

  • Considerable effort and resources are being put into linking up the local level with national objectives for Better Regulation, and results have started to emerge.
  • The central government agreement with the municipalities is an effective means of structuring the approach and identifying priorities.
  • The action plan rightly addresses not only what municipalities can do for central government but also what central government can do for municipalities.

How to obtain this publication

Download the complete PDF e-book: Better Regulation in Europe: Netherlands

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For further information, please contact Caroline Varley or Shayne MacLachlan