Country report The Netherlands - Work Package 1 Ex post evaluation of Cohesion Policy programmes 2007-2013, focusing on the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF)
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The effect of the global recession in 2008-2009 on the Dutch economy was less severe than on many other EU countries but the contraction in GDP between 2011 and 2013, after an initial recovery from the recession, was larger than average. In the following two years, however, GDP growth was similar to that in the rest of the EU. The effect of the recession was to reduce the employment rate, though with a lag of a year or two, so that by 2013, the proportion of those aged 20-64 in work was 2 percentage points less than in 2007 (though still well above the EU average) and unemployment had risen from 3% of the labour force to 7%.
The recession had a more immediate impact on the public sector financial balance which partly as a result of the expansionary measures taken was transformed from a small surplus in 2007 to a deficit of over 5% of GDP in 2009. Fiscal consolidation measures, including cutbacks in government investment, reduced this to 2% of GDP by 2015.
The Dutch economy, with a GDP per head above the EU15 average, is characterised by only small disparities between regions (all regions received support under the Competitiveness and Employment Objective for 2007-2013). The main disparity is between the central and peripheral regions and this changed relatively little over the period. The rise in unemployment affected all the regions.
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