According to Alice Stollmeyer, the Netherlands is «EU’s worst performer» when it comes to renewable energy. In a response, Joris Luyendijk comments on the revolving door between Royal Dutch Shell and Dutch politics:
for while the [conservative] VVD is a slide for politicians to the banks, the [social-democrat] PvdA is such a slide to Shell
Or, if I interpret Luyendijk correctly: ties between Shell and politicians ensure that environmental ambitions won’t stand in the way of corporate profits.
It so happens I recently looked into connections between businesses and Dutch national politics, so why not do a quick fact check. Below is an updated version of the chart (sources and method explained here).
First of all, banks and Shell are indeed the most active companies involved in the revolving door. The large majority of politicians who have connections with banks are members of the VVD or fellow conservative party CDA.
I found three cases of politicians landing jobs with Shell after their political career: Wim Kok, Dick Benschop and Nebahat Albayrak, all PvdA. Of course, this is only part of the revolving door phenomenon: I found far more cases of people who first worked for Shell and subsequently entered politics (note that it’s plausible that publicly available information about what politicians did after their political career is less complete than information on what they did before). If you include people who became active in national politics after having worked for Shell, then VVD and PvdA are about equally dominant.
One could argue that the PvdA politicians among them are most relevant for the point Luyendijk is making (i.e. Shell’s powerful lobby being partly to blame for the Netherlands’ poor performance on renewable energy). One of them is Jacqueline Cramer, who was a non-executive board member of Shell until 2007, and subsequently became minister of the environment until 2010 (incidentally, the deputy prime minister of that government was Wouter Bos, also PvdA and former Shell).