The Netherlands earns the most from trade

The Netherlands earns the most from trade

‘There’s a lot of discussion about the EU, so it’s good to reflect on how much the Netherlands benefits from EU membership. Purely in terms of euros’, said Deputy Prime Minister Maxime Verhagen after today’s cabinet meeting.

In 2011, the Netherlands had a trade surplus of €147 billion, nearly a quarter of its gross domestic product (GDP). ‘Of all the euro countries, the Netherlands earns by far the most from trade within Europe. We shouldn’t forget that, especially now’, said Mr Verhagen. Apart from events in the Eurozone, the cabinet also discussed the situation in Syria.

EU Commissioner Olli Rehn is positive about the Dutch budget agreement for 2013. ‘I’m pleased that we have got Commissioner Rehn’s backing’, said Mr Verhagen. ‘But I can assure you that we aren’t doing it for Brussels, but for ourselves. We need to create real growth, real jobs and real prosperity for the future of the Netherlands’.

Mr Verhagen welcomed this morning’s judgment in the interim injunction proceedings to stop the procedure for parliament’s approval of the ESM treaty. ‘The court states that it cannot intervene in the legislative procedure for approval of treaties, because under the Constitution that is the prerogative of parliament and the government’.

Mr Verhagen is extremely concerned about developments in Syria. ‘The bloodbath in Houla in which more than 100 people, mostly women and children, were slaughtered marks a new low point in the conflict’, he said. The international community was unanimous in condemning the massacre. The Netherlands remains committed to finding a political solution to the conflict.

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