The Netherlands is a founding member of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development — the World Bank — and was one of the first countries to receive a World Bank loan after the Second World War. These initial loans helped to rebuild the economy, modernize and expand the Royal Dutch Airlines fleet, and replenish the working capital of the Dutch Reconstruction Bank (Herstelbank). Today, the Netherlands is a member of all five institutions that form the World Bank Group. The Netherlands and the World Bank work with other member governments to finance projects, design policies, and deliver programs to eradicate poverty in the developing world.
The Netherlands desk at the World Bank Paris office works to promote consensus around the international development agenda and build a platform for collaboration between the World Bank Group and the Netherlands. It does this by promoting better understanding of the World Bank Group’s mission and activities and by building relationships with key stakeholders such as government, legislators, civil society organizations, the private sector, academia, and the media.
It also supports outreach activities, often in collaboration with Dutch partners, such as organizing and supporting conferences, seminars, and other events on development-related topics. The office serves as an entry point for groups in the Netherlands wishing to contact World Bank staff across the world or access the plethora of information the Bank publishes, and it responds to media queries. It also seeks to increase opportunities for collaboration between the Netherlands and the World Bank Group through co-financing, trust funds, and joint analytical work in sectors and regions of mutual interest.
Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem represents the Netherlands on the World Bank Board of Governors, the Bank’s senior decision-making body. The governors, usually ministers of finance or development, meet twice a year. They have the power to admit and suspend members of the World Bank Group, increase or decrease the authorized capital stock, determine the distribution of the net income of the Bank, and decide on the World Bank Group’s overall strategic direction. Lilianne Ploumen, the minister for foreign trade and development cooperation, serves as alternate governor for the Netherlands.
World Bank Executive Director
The governor delegates responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day business of the Netherlands’ interests at the Bank to the executive director (ED) for the Netherlands. EDs reside in Washington and normally meet twice a week to decide on borrowing and financial questions, projects, and policies that impact World Bank Group general operations. The Netherlands’ representation on the Boards of IBRD, IFC and MIGA is shared with Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Israel, Macedonia, former Yugoslav Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, and Ukraine; the Netherlands shares its vote on the IDA board with those same countries except Bulgaria and Romania. Frank Heemskerk is the current ED for the Netherlands on the 25-member World Bank Board of Executive Directors, and Stefan Nanu of Romania is the alternate executive director.
Shares and Voting Power
The World Bank Group has a weighted system of voting. All members of the Bank receive votes consisting of share votes (one vote for each share of the Bank's capital stock held by the member) plus basic votes (calculated so that the sum of all basic votes is equal to 5.55% of the sum of basic votes and share votes for all members). The voting power distribution differs from agency to agency within the World Bank Group.
The Netherlands executive director, also representing Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Israel, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania and Ukraine, has a 4.4% voting share on the IBRD board, a 3.78% share on the International Finance Corporation board, and 5.37% share on the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency board. The Netherlands’ 4.28% voting share on the International Development Association board also covers Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Israel, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, and Ukraine.