All sectors of the Dutch infrastructures have undergone a degree of commercialisation, liberalisation or privatisation over the last ten to twenty years. Where in the past the infrastructure landscape was dominated by public monopolies, the ownership and management of infrastructures is today shared by several public and private sector players. The original goals of this 'regime change' have in many cases been achieved: greater efficiency, a greater focus on the customer and more choice for consumers.
The question is whether this emphasis on current consumer interests allows enough scope to achieve long-term objectives which affect the whole of our society: innovation, long-term availability and sustainability of infrastructures. This is of crucial importance for economic and social development, which is coming under increasing pressure due to the combined impact of the exhaustion of natural resources and climate change.
The transition to a sustainable future demands substantial investment in infrastructures, which cannot be taken for granted in the present situation. The WRR has investigated how these investments could be safeguarded in the long term, whilst retaining the efficiency of the infrastructures.
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