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Students of economics at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) invited Bernard Wientjes, chairman of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW) to join the discussion programme ‘Room for Discussion’ on Tuesday, 2 October 2012 to talk about the sustainability of the Dutch consensus model of decision-making (poldermodel).

Negotiations on forming a new coalition government are well under way and offer employer and employee representative organisations an opportunity to have a bigger say in decisionmaking. What does this involve? What is the status of the current deadlock between the Federation of Dutch Trade Unions (FNV) and the VNO-NCW, and what could the appointment of the new president of the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands mean?

About 'Room for Discussion'

'Room for Discussion' is an interview programme initiated by and for students of the UvA's Faculty of Economics and Business. The students interview academics, politicians, business people and opinion leaders from the Netherlands in a specially designed ‘living room’ in front of a large audience. Prominent figures previously hosted by 'Room for Discussion' include Rijkman Groenink, former CEO of ABN Amro Bank, former Minister of Finance Wouter Bos and his successor Jan Kees de Jager, who currently serves as interim Minister, and Nout Wellink, former president of the Dutch Central Bank.

Programme schedule

  • 10 October – Tim Kuik, Director of Stichting Brein
  • 17 October – Professors Lex Hoogduin and Ewald Engelen, on Europe
  • 31 October – Twan Huys, Dutch journalist and TV presenter, on the US elections
  • 6 November – Henk Brouwer, chairman of Dutch pension fund ABP

Location and time

'Room for Discussion' takes place from 12:30 – 13:30 in Hall E at the UvA's Faculty of Economics and Business, Roetersstraat 11. Admission is free.