Privatisation has weakened the Dutch constitution over the past several decades, the former vice chairman of the council of state told a senate investigation on Monday afternoon.
Tjeenk Willink was speaking at a parliamentary inquiry into the effect of privatising government services in the 1990s, which began in the senate on Monday morning.
The democratic constitution has been weakened by the government distancing itself from its responsibilities, allowing the market to take over services and a decline in know-how in the civil service, news service ANP quotes him as saying.
‘The government also sees people increasingly as customers, which pushes joint interests into the background”, Willink told the hearing.
Willink, who left the council of state earlier this year, said he is not against privatisation per se, but against the idea it is automatically better. He has noticed many cases over the years where the most important reason for privatising a service was that it would be cheaper. It later proved not to be in the public interest.
There are many ‘unintentional and underestimated consequences’ in the policy, he said.