May 13, 2014
The new policy framework for effective GO-NGO partnerships in the Netherlands is out. Minister Ploumen has provided for a clear framework to ensure countervailing power is rewarded and seen as a strength. Deadline for submission is Septembe1, 2014. again no Summer holidays for a lot of programming staff.
A recent IOB study points to the complexity of private sector development instruments: "Implementation carried risks of market distortion as well as unnecessary public spending". With the Dutch Enterprise Agency bringing all efforts together it is crucial to take note of the lessons learnt.
Recently Eurodad, the European Network on Debt and Development, issued a report showing Europe's double public face. In particular the Netherlands is pointed to as a conduit haven for Multinational Companies (MNC).
From the report:
"A number of factors (Double Taxation Agreements (DTA) network, domestic fiscal advantages and lack of withholding tax on outgoing payments) make the Netherlands one of the world’s most important conduit havens, allowing MNCs to shift profits to low-tax jurisdictions. This is indicated by the enormous amounts of capital flowing through the
country that are not related to domestic economic activities. On paper, the country is the biggest investor in the world."
"The Netherlands is also seen as a risk with regard to money laundering. The IMF has found that “substantial proceeds of crime are generated in the country, mostly stemming from fraud (including tax fraud) and illicit narcotics.
Presently, the proceeds of domestic crime are estimated at approximately $14 billion, or 1.8 per cent of the GDP. In addition, work done by academics suggests a significant amount of criminal proceeds originating from foreign countries flows into the Netherlands for laundering.”
Today Mr. Kamp of the Dutch ministry of Economic affairs commissioned a new team that needs to monitor the implementation of the Corporate Governance Code.
The commission is a follow-up to years of investment of the social partners and various Ministries and Corporate Social Responsibility is but one of the elements that the code takes care of.
A report leading to the birth of the commission and known as the Report Streppel can be downloaded here.
New policy (NL) Ploumen has severe consequences on ODA contribution to civil society organisations, though quality of advocacy may improve.
Will Brittain deliver for society space? Or does an open democracy mean no borders, no legislation, maximum freedom, but no rights either. Check out the website of openDemocracy and see what it is and does and judge for yourself.
The timing could not be better. Ploumen basically launched her own WatchDog role: The public sector watching over the private sector and barking when needed.
Yesterday Minister Ploument of Trade and Development Cooperation left her typical governance role and stepped into the action mode. She took out on the textile industry, and in particular three companies who had not made any steps forward in their resourcing strategies after the Bangladesh accident. She nailed them on the wall and Coolcat, Prénatal and Wibra were forced to declare themselves supportive towards actions against poor labour conditions in Bangladesh. I have rarely seen such good watchdogs around where the barking does the complete job. Well done Minister Ploumen!
June 26, 2014
The new call for proposals for the FDOV fund (Food Security and Sustainable Entrepreneurship) requires either an NGO or a knowledge institute to be taken on board of partnership that apply for PPP funding.
Finally the conservative pension funds have given in to market pressures to have their funds invested in the volatile market place as reported by NOS and Beurs.NL. The new fund named "NL Ondernemingsfonds" will only be accessible for companies that have an annual turnover of over 25 million euro and loans will be of a minimum size of 10 million.
Pension funds were known for their careful investment policies, which paid off when the financial crisis hit. Apparently they have now come to the rescue of banks and insurance companies. This pooled funding in actual sense means less control over the pensions by the account managers of the Dutch pension funds.
The three mainstream banks in the Netherlands: Rabobank, ANB Amro and ING all participate in this fund, which implies a lack of competition between the banks which would generally lead to a lower quality of service delivery and higher impact of potential failure. On the positive side the banks can move some of their more risky portfolio's to the new fund and thus meet the strick requirements to keep their balance sheets in order.
The initiative for the fund came from a.o. stock market player NYSE EuroNext (which is a joint American-European stock market association). Though the funds aims at Dutch corporates, participation of NYSE Euronext shows that the recent move is in the interest of the Eurozone as a whole and may carry transatlantic motivations.
Other participants are pension funds MN and Syntrus Achmea as well as fund manager Robeco. The latter will manage the new fund.
Martijn Raaijmakers and his team have started an initiative that aims at reconnecting people with their heart and soul.
United by Passion has a number of strong ambassadors from the Private Sector supporting the initiative, thereby influencing their peers to value personal growth over economic growth.
Revaluing heart and soul connections within the private sector will no-doubt have impact on the way companies of the future will be lead.
The strong connection to the work of Ken Wilber makes you wonder if it will follow him in his rise AND fall. Let us hope the reconnection to passion also leads to concerted action.
Delloite linked Singularity University points to purposeful disruption as a means to survival for big corporates.
The number of corporates is likely to decrease. Will the few that are left over at the end disrupt themselves as well? Or live of the disruption of others?
SumOfUs has successfully launched a number of campaigns to put pressure on large corporations to watch their business ethics. Read more about their recent campaigns here and join the critical mass that will help democratise corporate governance.