Netherlands Country Report
The Netherlands is governed by a pragmatic four-party alliance between Prime Minister Mark Rutte's conservative and economically liberal VVD, the centrist D66, the centre-right CDA, and the conservative CU. The internal diversity of political views and a fragile one-seat majority in both houses of parliament make the Dutch government more vulnerable to opposition pressure and intra-coalition rows, resulting in slightly heightened levels of government instability during the current administrative term. However, this is unlikely to translate into a deterioration of the overall favourable Dutch business environment and strong economic growth. The Netherlands faces a risk of terrorist attacks launched by lone actors or small cells that sympathise with, but are not necessarily directed by,non-state militant groups.
The operational environment in the Netherlands is highly likely to remain favourable under the new coalition government. Infrastructure is of a very high standard, with reliable links to neighbouring markets. The country's susceptibility to flooding has been carefully addressed. The Netherlands is one of the largest recipients of foreign direct investment globally. The high cost of labour is a minor deterrent for some businesses, but productivity and quality are correspondingly high. Industrial action is relatively rare. At a national level, stable labour relations are facilitated through an abundance of organisations, such as the Joint Labour Council and the Social and Economic Council.
The Netherlands faces a risk of low-capability and more sophisticated terrorist attacks launched by lone actors or small cells directly linked to non-state militant groups such as the Islamic State or inspired by their ideology. Soft targets, such as transport hubs, bars and restaurants, music and sport venues, shopping centres, or public spaces near tourist attractions, will probably be most at risk. However, because lone actors often launch attacks near their homes, the risk of a terrorist attack is not limited to larger cities. Aside from civilians, other prime targets include individual members of the Dutch security forces or politicians.
The Netherlands has close political and economic ties with all of its neighbours, which are also partners in the European Union and allies in NATO, rendering the risk of interstate war extremely low. The country's NATO membership entails the involvement of Dutch military forces in NATO/US-led international security operations, including currently in the Middle East where the Royal Netherlands Air Force is participating in air strikes against the Islamic State's non-state armed militant group.
The risk of violent and disruptive protests in the Netherlands is lower than in neighbouring countries. However, anti-Islam and anti-immigrant sentiment, fuelled and exploited by the Party for Freedom (Partij voor de Vrijheid: PVV) led by Geert Wilders, has led to an increase in protests with the potential to turn violent. The Dutch branch of the Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West (Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes: PEGIDA) also stages smaller protests. Additionally, demonstrations for or against Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are likely to lead to scuffles with the police.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
No vaccinations are required to enter the country.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Tick-Borne Encephalitis: For stays in rural zones and for hiking enthusiasts (for children over the age of one).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
Coastal regions and zones situated below sea level are particularly vulnerable to flooding.
The country's road network is very good, dense, and free. However, roads are often gridlocked due to the large number of trucks on major roadways.
Drives are advised to be aware of the numerous cyclists who use the country's roadways, particularly in urban centers, and to be cautious of cyclists traveling in the opposite direction of traffic. Driving while intoxicated is severely punished. Fines resultant from traffic violations must be paid immediately. If you do not have cash with you, police officers will not hesitate to take you to the closest ATM.
Public transportation is very well developed in the country and has priority over individual drivers. However, trains are often late. Trams have priority on roadways and do not hesitate to take it.
Netherlands experiences a temperate oceanic climate which becomes slightly more continental as you travel inland. Winters are moderate and summers cool. Weather can change quickly. Fog, drizzle, and rain are common and winds can be violent along the coast. Average temperatures fluctuate between 2.2°C (winter) and 16.6°C (summer). Average annual rainfall is 760 mm.
Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz