KVS Preadviezen 2023 have been handed over to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy

Preadviezen 2023 were compiled by Rutger Claassen and Dirk Schoenmaker

Kantoorgebouwen in Den Haag. Foto: Liam Read, via Unsplash
Photo: Liam Read, via Unsplash

The KVS Preadviezen were recently handed over to Minister Micky Adriaansens of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. This year, the Preadviezen of the oldest association of economists in the Netherlands deal with corporate governance and public interest. They have been compiled by Professor of Political Philosophy and Economic Ethics Rutger Claassen and Professor of Banking and Finance Dirk Schoenmaker (Rotterdam School of Management), and can now be read in open access.

KVS Preadviezen: corporate governance and public interest

Every year, the Koninklijke Vereniging voor de Staathuishoudkunde (Royal Society for State Economics, KVS) presents its Preadviezen to the ministry concerned with the Dutch economy. In the Preadviezen, experts discuss a specific topic from different perspectives. This year, they answer questions on corporate governance and public

Prof. dr. Rutger Claassen. Foto: Ed van Rijswijk
Prof. Rutger Claassen

“Companies have entered a new phase, that of the ‘political enterprise’,” Claasen writes in his contribution. “In it, more public tasks are placed on their shoulders. How should corporate governance be organised so that companies can adequately translate these public pressures inwards? This is the central question at a time when a more social objective is expected from companies.”

“Companies must contribute to solving societal challenges”

“For decades, the most important economic theory on corporate governance was that of Milton Friedman,” Rutger Claassen explains in de Volkskrant (17 November). “According to this proponent of free-market capitalism and limited government, companies had only one social responsibility, and that was to make profits.”

That view is hopelessly outdated, continues Dirk Schoenmaker. “Society demands a different kind of company. Companies must help solve societal challenges, such as combating climate change and promoting diversity. That is why parties other than just shareholders must be given a role in corporate governance.”

Rutger Claassen and Dirk Schoenmaker in the media

De Volkskrant, ‘Greenpeace on Shell’s board? Economists: “Companies must better embed social interest”’ (17 November, in Dutch)
Financieel Dagblad, ‘Give stakeholders a say in company alongside shareholders’ (17 November 2022, in Dutch)