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

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

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

Organisation

SER headquarters, The Hague
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

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

Chair 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
(7 years, 318 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

Appointed Members of the Social and Economic Council

Appointed Members
Member Appointed Other function(s) Member Appointed Other function(s)
Mariëtte Hamer
Mariëtte Hamer
(born 1958)
[Chairwoman]
10 September 2014
(7 years, 318 days)
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Dr.
Pieter Hasekamp
(born 1965)
1 March 2020
(2 years, 146 days)
Director of the
Bureau for Economic
Policy Analysis
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Luce van Kempen
(born 1995)
1 April 2020
(2 years, 115 days)
Chairwoman of
the Youth Council
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Dr.
Romke van der Veen
(born 1958)
1 April 2012
(10 years, 115 days)
Professor of Social and
Behavioral Sciences
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Dr.
Evert Verhulp
(born 1960)
1 April 2012
(10 years, 115 days)
Professor of Labour Law
University of Amsterdam
Kim Putters
Dr.
Kim Putters
(born 1973)
1 February 2017
(5 years, 174 days)
Professor of Healthcare
Management
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Director of the Institute
for Social Research
Ed Nijpels
Ed Nijpels
(born 1950)
15 August 2014
(7 years, 344 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
(6 years, 227 days)
Professor of Pedagogy
Free University Amsterdam

President of the Council
of the University of Amsterdam
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Dr.
Maarten Lindeboom
(born 1960)
1 September 2018
(3 years, 327 days)
Professor of Economics
Free University Amsterdam
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Femke Laagland
(born 1979)
1 July 2020
(3 years, 327 days)
Professor of Labour Law
Radboud University Nijmegen
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Dr.
Olaf Sleijpen
(born 1975)
1 April 2020
(2 years, 115 days)
Chief Financial Officer
De Nederlandsche Bank
Chairwoman

Trade associations Members of the Social and Economic Council

Trade Associations Members
Member Appointed Represents Member Appointed Represents
Hans de Boer
Hans de Boer
(born 1955)
[Vice Chairman]
1 July 2014
(8 years, 54 days)
Industry and Employers
Confederation
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Jacco Vonhof
(born 1970)
1 August 2018
(7 years, 358 days)
Small and Medium-
Sized Association
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Patricia Hoogstraaten
(born 1959)
1 May 2006
(16 years, 85 days)
Retail
Association
Guido van Woerkom
Guido van Woerkom
(born 1955)
1 October 2013
(8 years, 297 days)
Travelers
Association
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Chris Buijink
(born 1954)
1 June 2013
(9 years, 54 days)
Banking
Association
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Dirk Beljaarts
(born 1978)
1 January 2019
(3 years, 205 days)
Hospitality
Association
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Fried Kaanen
(born 1955)
1 April 2017
(5 years, 115 days)
Manufacturing
Association
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Niels Louwaars
(born 1958)
10 December 2019
(2 years, 227 days)
Horticulture
Association
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Roderik Pape
(born 1969)
1 April 2020
(2 years, 115 days)
Freelancers
Association
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Hans van Waayenburg
(born 1957)
15 February 2019
(3 years, 160 days)
CEO of
Capgemini Netherlands
Deputy Trade Associations Members
Member Appointed Represents Member Appointed Represents
Ineke Dezentjé Hamming-Bluemink
Ineke Dezentjé
Hamming-Bluemink

(born 1954)
1 January 2012
(10 years, 205 days)
Technology Industry
Association
Henk Kamp
Henk Kamp
(born 1952)
1 February 2018
(4 years, 174 days)
Healthcare Providers
Association
Ad Melkert
Ad Melkert
(born 1956)
1 April 2019
(3 years, 115 days)
Hospitals
Association
Maxime Verhagen
Maxime Verhagen
(born 1956)
1 October 2015
(6 years, 297 days)
Construction
Association
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Richard Weurding
(born 1961)
1 April 2006
(16 years, 115 days)
Insurance
Association
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Leendert-Jan Visser
(born 1971)
1 April 2020
(2 years, 115 days)
Small and Medium-
Sized Association
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Elisabeth Post
(born 1965)
1 June 2019
(3 years, 54 days)
Transport
Association
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Henk den Boer
(born 1963)
1 April 2020
(2 years, 115 days)
Maintenance
Association
Vice Chairman by Ex officio as Chairman of the Industry and Employers confederation

Trade union Members of the Social and Economic Council

Trade union Members
Member Appointed Represents Member Appointed Represents
Han Busker
Han Busker
(born 1955)
[Vice Chairman]
1 May 2016
(6 years, 85 days)
Federation of Trade Unions
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Willem Jelle Berg
(born 1969)
1 April 2014
(8 years, 115 days)
National Federation of
Christian Trade Unions
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Nic van Holstein
(born 1963)
1 September 2015
(6 years, 313 days)
Trade Union of
Professionals
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Gerrit van de Kamp
(born 1964)
1 April 2019
(3 years, 115 days)
Police Trade Union
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Jan de Jong
(born 1955)
1 August 2016
(5 years, 358 days)
Federation of Trade
Unions for Seniors
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Bas van Weegberg
(born 1996)
1 Juli 2019
(3 years, 24 days)
Federation of Trade
Unions for Youth
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Arend van Wijngaarden
(born 1954)
1 November 2012
(9 years, 266 days)
National Federation of
Christian Trade Unions
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Zakaria Boufangacha
(born 1973)
1 July 2017
(6 years, 85 days)
Federation of Trade Unions
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Tuur Elzinga
(born 1965)
1 July 2017
(5 years, 54 days)
Federation of Trade Unions
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Kitty Jong
(born 1961)
1 July 2017
(5 years, 54 days)
Federation of Trade Unions
Netherlands politic personality icon.svg
Judy Hoffer
(born 1970)
1 March 2019
(3 years, 146 days)
Federation of Trade Unions
Vice Chairman by Ex officio as Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions

See also