Social and Economic Council

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Netherlands

The Social and Economic Council (Dutch: Sociaal-Economische Raad, SER) is a major economic advisory council to the cabinet of the Netherlands. Formally it heads a system of sector-based regulatory organisations. It represents the social partners trade unions and employers' organisations. It forms the core organisation of the corporatist and social market economy known as the polder model and the main platform for social dialogue.

History[edit]

The SER was founded in 1950. It was founded after a long debate about the economic order of the Netherlands. The two main governing parties of the time, the Catholic People's Party (KVP) and the Labour Party (PvdA) had differing opinions on the subject. Both wanted to prevent the repetition of the Great Depression. The Labour Party preferred to grant the government an important regulatory role in the economy, while the KVP preferred to rely on the workings of a self-regulating market economy. A compromise was found in the corporatist model, in which both trade unions and employers' organisations would form sector-based regulatory organisations. The SER headed this structure and served as important partner for the national government. The SER was very important in the reconstruction of the Netherlands after the World War II.

In the 1950s and 60s, the SER was particularly successful in ensuring economic growth through close cooperation between government, trade unions and employers' organisations. In the 1970s, because of rising political polarisation and the 1973 oil crisis, the SER was unable to resolve economic problems. In the 1980s the SER returned to the centre of the economic policy making, as it was the platform for dialogue between the government and its social partners. In the 1990s, the role of the SER began to change. The role of the sector-based regulatory organisations began to decline and the SER increasingly took the role of an advisory council of government; in 1997 the Senate and House of Representatives were granted the right to submit enquiry commissions to the SER.

Goals[edit]

The SER has three main goals for Dutch social-economic policy:

Organisation[edit]

SER headquarters, The Hague

The SER has thirty-three members. It consists of three sections, which each have eleven members in the council. These sections are trade unions, employers' organisations and government-appointed members, the so-called Crown members. The trade union members are appointed from the three major unions: FNV (8), CNV (2) and the MHP (1). The members of the employers' organisations are representatives from the three major employers' organisations: VNO-NCW (7), MKB (3) and the LTO (1). The government-appointed members are normally professors of economics or related fields and they include representatives of the Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) and the central bank, De Nederlandsche Bank. The board of the SER is formed by four members of each section. The chair of the organisation is always a government appointee.

The SER heads and oversees the system of sector-based regulatory organisations. These organisations can like other governments, provinces, water boards etc. enforce legislation[example needed] for their members, in this case companies. The SER is financed by levies which companies pay to the chambers of commerce. It spends €14 million a year.

Activities[edit]

The group has negotiated among other things, agreements in the textile sector, the banking sector and the gold sector. The SER also performs legal and administrative tasks. For example in the field of employee participation, healthy and safe working, employment inspections and pensions.[clarification needed]

List of Chairs of the Social and Economic Council[edit]

Chairs of the Social
and Economic Council
Term of office Previous political Experience(s) Previous other Experience(s) Party
Frans de Vries Dr.
Frans de Vries
(1884–1958)
1 June 1950 –
15 June 1958
(8 years, 14 days)
[Died]
Professor of Economics at the
Erasmus University Rotterdam
(1918–1945)

Rector Magnificus of the
Erasmus University Rotterdam

(1921–1922, 1928–1929, 1935–1936)

Professor of Economics at the
University of Amsterdam
(1945–1954)
Independent
Vacant
15 June 1958 – 1 July 1958
Gerard Verrijn Stuart Dr.
Gerard Verrijn Stuart
(1893–1969)
1 July 1958 –
1 May 1964
(5 years, 305 days)
Professor of Economics at the
University of Amsterdam
(1952–1962)
Independent
Jan de Pous Jan de Pous
(1920–1996)
1 May 1964 –
1 February 1985
(20 years, 276 days)
Minister of Economic Affairs
(1959–1963)

Member of the Council of State
(1958–1959)
Christian Historical Union
(1964–1980)
Christian Democratic Appeal
(1980–1985)
Theo Quené Dr.
Theo Quené
(1930–2011)
1 February 1985 –
1 January 1996
(10 years, 334 days)
Director of the Scientific Council
for Government Policy

(1978–1985)
Labour Party
Klaas de Vries Klaas de Vries
(born 1943)
1 January 1996 –
3 August 1998
(2 years, 214 days)
[Res] [Note]
Member of the House
of Representatives

(1973–1988)
Labour Party
Vacant
3 August 1998 – 1 January 1999
Herman Wijffels Dr.
Herman Wijffels
(born 1942)
1 January 1999 –
1 April 2006
(7 years, 90 days)
CEO and Chairman
of the Rabobank
(1986–1999)
Christian Democratic Appeal
Alexander Rinnooy Kan Dr.
Alexander Rinnooy Kan
(born 1949)
1 April 2006 –
1 September 2012
(6 years, 164 days)
Member of the Social
and Economic Council
(1991–1996)
Chairman of the
Industry and Employers
confederation

(1991–1996)
Democrats 66
Wiebe Draijer Wiebe Draijer
(born 1965)
1 September 2012 –
10 September 2014
(2 years, 9 days)
[Res] [Note]
CEO and Chairman of the
McKinsey & Company
Netherlands

(2003–2012)
Independent
Mariëtte Hamer Mariëtte Hamer
(born 1958)
10 September 2014 –
Incumbent
(5 years, 41 days)
Member of the House
of Representatives

(1998–2014)
Labour Party
Resigned
Died in office
Resigned when he was appointed as Minister of Social Affairs and Employment in the Second Kok cabinet
Resigned when he was appointed as CEO and Chairman of the Rabobank

Current Members of the Social and Economic Council[edit]

Appointed Members of the Social and Economic Council[edit]

Appointed Members
Member Appointed Other function(s) Member Appointed Other function(s)
Mariëtte Hamer Mariëtte Hamer
(born 1958)
[Chairwoman]
10 September 2014
(5 years, 41 days)
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg Dr.
Job Swank
(born 1955)
1 April 2006
(13 years, 203 days)
Professor of Economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam

Executive at the De Nederlandsche Bank
Barbara Baarsma Dr.
Barbara Baarsma
(born 1969)
1 April 2012
(7 years, 203 days)
Professor of Economics at the University of Amsterdam Netherlands politic personality icon.svg Dr.
Romke van der Veen
(born 1958)
1 April 2012
(7 years, 203 days)
Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Erasmus University Rotterdam
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg Dr.
Evert Verhulp
(born 1960)
1 April 2012
(7 years, 203 days)
Professor of Labour Law at the University of Amsterdam Laura van Geest Laura van Geest
(born 1962)
1 August 2013
(6 years, 81 days)
Director of the Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis
Ed Nijpels Ed Nijpels
(born 1950)
15 August 2014
(5 years, 67 days)
Chairman of the Climate Council

Chairman of the Environment Central Foundation
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg Dr.
Geert ten Dam
(born 1958)
10 December 2015
(3 years, 315 days)
Professor of Pedagogy at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

President of the Council of the University of Amsterdam
Kim Putters Dr.
Kim Putters
(born 1973)
1 February 2017
(2 years, 262 days)
Professor of Healthcare Management at the Erasmus University Rotterdam

Director of the Institute for Social Research
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg Dr.
Maarten Lindeboom
(born 1960)
1 September 2018
(1 year, 50 days)
Professor of Economics at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Chairwoman

Trade associations Members of the Social and Economic Council[edit]

Trade associations Members
Member Appointed Represents Member Appointed Represents
Hans de Boer Hans de Boer
(born 1955)
[Vice Chairman]
1 July 2014
(5 years, 142 days)
Industry and Employers
confederation
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg Jacco Vonhof
(born 1970)
1 August 2018
(5 years, 81 days)
SMEs association
Ineke Dezentjé Hamming-Bluemink Ineke Dezentjé
Hamming-Bluemink

(born 1954)
1 January 2012
(7 years, 293 days)
Technology industry
association
Ad Melkert Ad Melkert
(born 1956)
1 April 2019
(203 days)
Hospitals association
Marc Calon Marc Calon
(born 1959)
1 January 2017
(2 years, 293 days)
Agricultural and
Horticultural association
Maxime Verhagen Maxime Verhagen
(born 1956)
1 October 2015
(4 years, 20 days)
Construction association
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg Patricia Hoogstraaten
(born 1959)
1 May 2006
(13 years, 173 days)
Retail association Netherlands politic personality icon.svg Ger Jaarsma
(born 1968)
1 April 2016
(3 years, 203 days)
Realtors and Real Estate
agents association
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg Sieto de Leeuw
(born 1958)
1 April 2018
(1 year, 203 days)
Employment agencies
association
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg Richard Weurding
(born 1961)
1 April 2006
(13 years, 203 days)
Insurance association
Deputy Trade associations Members
Member Appointed Represents Member Appointed Represents
Guido van Woerkom Guido van Woerkom
(born 1955)
1 October 2013
(6 years, 20 days)
Travelers' association Henk Kamp Henk Kamp
(born 1952)
1 February 2018
(1 year, 262 days)
Healthcare Industry
association
Vice Chairman by Ex officio as Chairman of the Industry and Employers confederation

Trade union Members of the Social and Economic Council[edit]

Trade union Members
Member Appointed Represents Member Appointed Represents
Han Busker Han Busker
(born 1955)
[Vice Chairman]
1 May 2016
(3 years, 173 days)
Federation of Trade Unions Netherlands politic personality icon.svg Willem Jelle Berg
(born 1969)
1 April 2014
(5 years, 203 days)
National Federation of
Christian Trade Unions
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg Nic van Holstein
(born 1963)
1 September 2015
(4 years, 36 days)
Trade Union of
Professionals
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg Gerrit van de Kamp
(born 1964)
1 April 2019
(203 days)
Police Trade Union
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg Jan de Jong
(born 1955)
1 August 2016
(3 years, 81 days)
Federation of Trade
Unions for Seniors
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg Bastiaan Meijer
(born 2000)
1 April 2018
(1 year, 203 days)
Federation of Trade
Unions for Youth
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg Arend van Wijngaarden
(born 1954)
1 November 2012
(6 years, 354 days)
National Federation of
Christian Trade Unions
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg Zakaria Boufangacha
(born 1973)
1 July 2017
(3 years, 173 days)
Federation of Trade Unions
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg Tuur Elzinga
(born 1965)
1 July 2017
(2 years, 142 days)
Federation of Trade Unions Netherlands politic personality icon.svg Kitty Jong
(born 1961)
1 July 2017
(2 years, 142 days)
Federation of Trade Unions
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg Judy Hoffer
(born 1970)
1 March 2019
(234 days)
Federation of Trade Unions
Vice Chairman by Ex officio as Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions

See also[edit]

External links[edit]