In the Netherlands, if you suffer a loss resulting from government acts or decisions, you can request compensation. You may for instance suffer loss of income, you incur costs or suffer material damages. In some cases you can request compensation from the municipality, province, regional water authority or national authorities. There is a difference in compensation for lawful or for unlawful government acts.
Lawful government acts
An example of a lawful government act is road reconstruction. If, as a result, it is difficult or impossible to reach your business premises, you can suffer a loss. Or you can suffer a loss resulting from rerouting cables and pipelines. In that case, it is possible to ask for compensation (in Dutch). This is called compensation for loss resulting from lawful government acts.
In general this compensation is an exception and you will have to bear the costs yourself. Compensation will only be granted if you are affected disproportionally and if you could not know about the measures or the extent of damages. The government is not obliged to compensate all losses.
Unlawful government acts
An example of an unlawful government act is a wrongful decision to refuse a licence or permit. If you suffer a loss as a result, you are entitled to full compensation (in Dutch).
Where to claim compensation
You apply for compensation to the government organisation responsible. If they reject your request for compensation or if they do not respond within 8 weeks you can file a claim with the court (in Dutch).
When it concerns loss in the field of social insurance, public service law or taxes, the administrative courts have jurisdiction (in Dutch). In other cases both civil and administrative courts have jurisdiction, up to an amount of €25,000 (at the discretion of the citizen). Beyond that amount, you will have to appeal to a civil court (in Dutch).