Country Reports

Netherlands Country Report

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Risk Level

Very High


Executive Summary

Following the provincial elections in March 2019, Prime Minister Mark Rutte's centre-right four-party government lost in May its one-seat majority in the Senate, the upper house of parliament. This leaves it more exposed to strong opposition pressure and possible internal discord.Rutte currently has to include a fifth partner or several opposition parties more formally in the government's legislative initiatives. The provincial election results reflected the ongoing fragmentation of the Dutch political landscape, a trend that continued in the European Parliament elections. However, the weakening of the government is unlikely to translate into a significant deterioration of the overall favourable business environment in the Netherlands.The economy is facing a tougher external environment than in the previous two years. Specifically, the German economic slowdown will have important implications, taking a toll on the manufacturing sector that feeds into the German automotive sector and hurting shipping through the port of Rotterdam. Brexit also endangers shipping traffic.The Dutch economy is typically one of the strongest growers within the eurozone and IHS Markit believes that this is still the case, even given the 2019 deceleration of growth. However, as jobs are no longer being added, inflation has risen, and when moving firmly into the second half of this European business cycle, it is likely that the Netherlands will no longer be able to grow above capacity.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, shopping centres, or public spaces near tourist attractions, are likely to be most at risk.
Last update: September 7, 2019

Operational Outlook

The operational environment in the Netherlands is highly likely to remain favourable. Infrastructure is of a very high standard, with reliable links to neighbouring markets. The high cost of labour is a minor deterrent for some businesses, but productivity and quality are correspondingly high. Industrial action is relatively rare. Although the Netherlands has been criticised in recent years for failing to implement sufficient measures to investigate and prosecute Dutch companies and nationals engaged in foreign bribery, corruption risks are likely to remain very low. However, Brexit poses a potential risk of disruption for businesses depending on the outcome of current negotiations.

Last update: August 9, 2019



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, are likely to 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.

Last update: September 7, 2019


Crime rates, especially for violent crime, are generally very low in the Netherlands and they are no deterrent to foreign investment. According to recent figures from the Dutch Ministry of Justice, the overall crime rate is likely to drop over the coming years. Cyber crime is a growing threat in the Netherlands, including malware, ransomware attacks, and the targeting of networked systems. The Dutch police force functions effectively and is comparatively well resourced overall.

Last update: September 7, 2019

War Risks

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 inter-state 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 Afghanistan, where the Dutch government has committed to contribute to NATO's Resolute Support Mission until 2021, and in Lithuania, where around 270 military personnel support the multinational battlegroup of NATO's enhanced Forward Presence.

Last update: September 7, 2019

Social Stability


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) or the Forum for Democracy (Forum voor Democratie: FvD), 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 usually likely to lead to scuffles with the police.

Last update: September 7, 2019

Health Risk


Vaccinations required to enter the country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Routine Vaccinations

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).

Other Vaccinations

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.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Natural Risks


Coastal regions and zones situated below sea level are particularly vulnerable to flooding.

Last update: April 5, 2019



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.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information


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.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +31
Police: 112
Fire Dept.: 112
Ambulance: 112


Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz


Last update: April 5, 2019