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Arco Timmermans Discusses Unilever Fine for Moving on Dutch Radio BNR Lobbypanel

Arco Timmermans, Professor by special appointment Public Affairs at the Institute Public Administration discussed the proposed fine that is likely to prevent Unilever from leaving the Netherlands.

The proposed legislation by Dutch political party GroenLinks to impose a fine for moving of 11 billion Euros. This would make it unprofitable for the giant corporation to move from Rotterdam to London. That is, if the bill actually gets passed. Timmermans seriously doubts if it is actually legally possible to impose such a fine. 'I'd be very surprised if it was legally possible. This fine would apply for a period of how many years then?

Unilever in the Netherlands

The Netherlands depends on multinationals. This also includes on an economical level. Timmermans says that it is also very likely that the Netherlands would have a more positive influence on the company as opposed to London: 'In the Netherlands we have a social environment that is wide awake. If the management of a large company fails to keep their eyes open, they are likely to be given a nudge by society.'


It may come as a surprise that the legislation proposal has been drafted by GroenLinks. They are not known for their support for multinationals in the Netherlands. Timmermans explains that GroenLinks wants to keep Unilever in the Netherlands because over here they are a bit more environmentally conscious than in London. But also because he believes that 'Groenlinks has shifted a bit from being a party of convictions to a party that would like to see sustainable value for their money'.

Prof. dr. Arco Timmermans is Professor by special appointment Public Affairs at the Institute Public Administration of the Faculty Governance and Global Affairs in The Hague. His teaching is about public policy in the Netherlands and the EU, interest representation and public affairs, for example in the mastertrack Public Affairs.

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