For the purpose of co-ordinating the introduction of the euro in the Netherlands, the National Forum for the Introduction of the Euro was set up. This body, which is chaired by the Ministry of Finance, consists of members of the public sector (both central government and local authorities), the financial sector (banks, exchanges, insurance sector), trade unions, organisations of employers, the organisation of pension funds and the consumers' organisation. The broad principles for the national changeover plan are discussed in the National Forum.
With respect to the internal and external communication of the central government, it is most probable that the communication will take place in guilder up to 1 January 2002. From that moment onwards, the communication will take place in euro. A decision on this matter will soon be taken. The changeover of the financial administrations is the own responsibility of the services concerned.
From fiscal year 1999 onwards, facilities will be provided to declare taxes in euro even though the Tax Office will continue to use the guilder as unit of account up to and including fiscal year 2001
Government bonds will be issued in euro from 1 January 1999 onwards. Existing government debt will in principle be redenominated, for which a special law will be proposed.
It is expected that other bodies within the public sector
will follow the scenario of the central government with respect to the
changeover to the euro.
The Central Bank
The Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank) will execute as of 1 January 1999 its money market policy in euro. The announcement of money market transactions as well as information about these transactions will be expressed in euro. This will also be the case for foreign exchange operations of the Nederlandsche Bank. Exchange rates of non-EMU currencies will exclusively be quoted in euro in the foreign exchange markets.
Accounts held at the Nederlandsche Bank will be expressed
in euro as of 1 January 1999 and the wholesale payment system of the Nederlandsche
Bank (TOP) will operate in euro. The Nederlandsche Bank will supply temporary
conversion facilities for counterparties who are not yet capable to process
their transactions with the Nederlandsche Bank in euro. Banks will be able
to execute cross-border payments via the link of the TOP-system with the
Bank services can be offered in euro as of 1 January 1999. However, in order not to confuse the public and not to overload the payment system, banks have agreed on a specific policy in offering payment services:
Amsterdam Exchanges will totally changeover to the euro
as of 4 January 1999 (the first operational day in 1999). Quotation of
shares will take place in euro; trade and settlement by interprofessional
parties will also take place in euro. Clients will therefore either have
to dispose of an account in euro or the banks will have to facilitate the
The administration of pension funds will changeover to
euro at 1 January 1999 for investment and treasury purposes. The changeover
to euro of the payment of pensions will take place at the moment of introduction
of euro-coin and bills.
Public utilities will in principle continue to receive payments (bank transfers) of clients in guilder up to the date of introduction of euro coins and bills. However, facilities in euro will be provided on request (for example multinationals and larger clients).
In order to accustom the public to amounts in euro, public
utilities have decided to indicate from the year 2000 onwards certain key
figures in euro on the annual statement (for example the total consumption
of a client and the new figure for the monthly advances of a client).
Scenario for the introduction of euro-coins and bills
The Nederlandsche Bank will exclusively issue euro-coins and bills from the day of the introduction of euro-coins and bills onwards. On the same day, bank accounts in guilders will be changed over into euro and bank payments will only take place in euro. Withdrawals at the banks will exclusively be in euro. At the counter, businesses will only return the customer in euro. Payments with credit cards, cheques and electronic money will also take place in euro.
It is expected that within a relatively short period,
the bulk of the payments could take place in euro. However, the guilder
will remain to be legal tender until 1 July 2002. After 1 July 2002, guilder
bills can still during a period of 30 years be offered for conversion at
the Nederlandsche Bank. A definitive decision for the period that guilder
coins can still be offered for conversion has not yet been taken, but will
be at least six months.
It has been agreed that a flexible approach will be taken with respect to dual pricing in the period between the introduction of euro-coins and bills and the disappearance of guilders as legal tender. The conversion could for example be facilitated via euro-calculators or conversion charts in shops.
17 December 1997