Public interest demands strengthening of business responsibility

In his new report Publieke zaken in de marktsamenleving (‘Public interests in a market society’), the WRR calls for a renewed vision of the role of the government in a market economy.

Market system

In recent decades, the Dutch government has underestimated the problems of designing markets in such a way that public interests are protected. Both the government itself and market players have had difficulty in finding their proper role in the market system. The government has moreover taken too little account of the uncertainties that are inherent in a market economy. These are among the findings of the WRR in its report Publieke zaken in de marktsamenleving (‘Public interests in a market society’) which is being presented today to the Secretary-General of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations.


The new market society which has arisen demands new ways of fulfilling the responsibilities for the public interest. The WRR advises the government to recalibrate the role of the government, to encourage businesses to take real social responsibility and to increase the involvement of society at large. Among other things, the Council highlights the role that trade organisations and public sector business organisations can play.

The report has been produced as part of the 'Market, State and Society' project led by Professor Gerard de Vries.

The report Publieke zaken in de marktsamenleving (in Dutch) is available from Amsterdam University Press, ISBN 978 90 8964 361 2 and may also be downloaded in full from this website.