Is the consultation economy – often known as the “polder model” – a typically Dutch phenomenon?

No, there are variations on the consultation economy in other countries as well. For example, collective agreements are common in many other countries, and you will also find bodies similar to the Social and Economic Council, both within and outside the European Union. These countries also realise how important it is for labour, management and the government to work together. The composition of such bodies and their duties may differ from the Dutch model, however. For example, in some countries, the government is also a member of the social and economic council.

The Dutch Social and Economic Council has co-founded an association of social and economic councils and similar institutions around the world. The purpose of the association is to encourage dialogue between its members and to promote the establishment of social and economic councils or similar bodies in other countries. The association has more than forty members in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. See:

At the European level, moreover, the European Union has established the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). See: