A major finding in a thesis by Rosa Tamara Juffer, analyzing the agendas of Dutch decision makers, is that an elite group of corporations tend to always have a seat at the table when government is developing new policy. In an interview, one of the top lobbyists of airline giant Air France KLM stated: “Because we are so big, we have a strong position within the Dutch economy and therefore we are also more recognized and acknowledged(..) and we do have more access, which will also be the case for other large Dutch companies such as Ahold and Heineken.”
According to Transnational Institute, minutes from meetings with the Dutch Trade and Investment Board (DTIB) reveal how lobbyists and ministers collaborate in reforming fiscal and development policies in favor of private interests. Only top cabinet members and business representatives were selected for the little-known organization.
The central interest of the agenda of DTIB for the past 13 years (since 2006) has been government support for Dutch companies in their international business through subsidies, fiscal policies, trade missions, economic diplomacy, and development aid expenditures.
DTIB was founded in 2004, to establish public-private dialogue on government support for the internationally active companies including Heineken, Shell and VNO-NCW (Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers) along with seven ministries. The minutes reveales information discussed including the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade agreement, subsidies for internationally active firms, maintaining the Netherlands’ tax haven appeal and “modernizing” development cooperation (from aid to trade).
A network analysis of the members of the DTIB can be found here.