The Netherlands earns 180 billion euro in the EU every year. This is apparent from a brochure of the VNO-NCW (Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers) entitled The Netherlands is living off Europe [in Dutch], which was published because of the approaching elections. Without the euro and the European internal market, the Netherlands would be missing out on an annual 90 billion euro.
Every year the Netherland earns 120 billion euro – one-fifth of its gross domestic product – on exports to the EU. Investments in the EU also supply between 50 and 60 billion euro. The VNO-NCW feels that a light should be shone on the positive effects that Europe is having on the Dutch economy. Thuiswinkel.org couldn’t agree more. Martijn Hos, manager of public affairs: “There are plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs in the EU, for webshops too. Webshops currently focus in particular on the Netherlands, but the next growth spurt will be in the direction of the internal EU market. The EU is aiming at 20% cross-border e-commerce in 2015. Dutch web-shops will benefit from this.”
Disintegration of the Eurozone
The VNO-NCW brochure describes what would happen if the eurozone were to disintegrate. According to the employers’ organisation, this would mean taking into account a 25% reduction in exports, twice as much unemployment and a 10% budget deficit. “The train has left the station as far as dismantling Europe is concerned, says Bernard Wientjes, chairman of the VNO-NCW. “Politicians need to explain to people the effect Europe is having on our prosperity and employment opportunities on the basis of facts and not emotion.”
Out of Proportion
The Dutch contribution to the European emergency fund could mount to 90 billion euro. If – in a worst-case scenario – only half of this is repaid, this is still out of all proportion in relation to the 180 billion that the Netherlands earns from the EU every year. This is endorsed by nine entrepreneurs who were interviewed for the brochure.
Thuiswinkel.org feels it is important that extra attention is given to the role of Europe. Thuiswinkel.org is a member of the VNO-NCW and Ed Nijpels, chairman of van Thuiswinkel.org, is a member of its Executive Board.