IOB – A strategic approach? Dutch coalition-building and the ‘multi-bi approach’ in the context of EU decision-making (2008-2012) – Summary, main findings and issues for consideration

With a view to promoting Dutch interests as effectively as possible in the decision-making process of the European Union (EU), the Netherlands joins coalitions with other member states and invests in bilateral relationships with them. The combination of these two instruments is termed the ‘multi-bi approach’. In this policy review, the Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands provides insight into how the Netherlands has applied these instruments in the period 2008-2012 and what the results were. In this study, IOB has given special attention to the use and usefulness of the Benelux Political Cooperation with regard to EU decision-making.