NETHERLANDS – The European Commission says that the Netherlands is in a “relative good position” to meet the costs of ageing, based on current policies.

“The Council considers that on the basis of the current policies, the Netherlands appears to be in a relative good position to meet the budgetary costs associated with ageing,” said the European Commission, in a draft that is to be approved by the European Council on July 15.

“However, additional consolidation measures might be needed to ensure a fiscal position close to balance in the medium term, should economic growth in the medium term slow significantly.”

The comments were in response to the Netherlands’ revised 2002 updated stability programme for 2001-2007 that was released earlier this month.

The Dutch government said on June 11 that the effective age of retirement should rise as a result of reform to the social security system’s pre-pension arrangements. It also said that reform to social insurance would help to curb demographic change.

The Commission added: “The open economy of the Netherlands was adversely affected by the sharp slowdown in the world economy.”