|RAAD VAN COMMISSARISSEN
Under Dutch company law, a supervisory board is obligatory in public limited companies and private limited companies (see forms of company ) which are also "structured" companies . In the case of other public and private limited companies and co-operative societies it may be stipulated in their own articles of association.
The primary function of the supervisory board is to oversee the policy pursued by management and the general state of affairs in the company and the enterprise associated with it, together with the task of advising the management, either on request or on its own initiative. The law also makes it responsible for appointing and dismissing members of the management board, approving the balance sheet and profit-and-loss account and authorizing certain decisions. The members of the supervisory board itself are appointed by co-option. In the case of "structured" companies some influence over their appointment is also exerted by the shareholders and the works council .
Studies of the role of supervisory boards in large companies reveal that the functioning of the board varies considerably from one company to another. In subsidiaries of foreign multinationals and in very large groups it has hardly any influence, while in smaller enterprises its importance is greater. The extent to which it is involved in policy also depends very much on the management, since it is the latter which decides when the supervisory board should be made aware of concrete policy proposals and which provides it with information and requests its advice. In practice, the board's influence mainly amounts to participating in decisions on long-term policy and other major policy decisions.
Please note: the European industrial relations glossaries were compiled between 1991 and 2003 and are not updated. For current material see the European industrial relations dictionary.