International cooperation more important than ever for Dutch security

The security of the Netherlands and its people will be at the heart of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ budget for the coming year. ‘Foreign conflicts are increasingly having an impact on our country,’ said foreign minister Bert Koenders. ‘International cooperation in tackling problems abroad is more important than ever for our security and prosperity in the Netherlands.’

Terrorism and mass migration are often the result of conflicts and wars or poorly functioning states. The government will therefore release an additional €5 million in 2017 to fund international peace and stability projects.

Combating violent extremism

The money will be allocated to the Internal Security Fund (€1.5 million) and the Stability Fund (€3.5 million) to prevent conflicts and combat violent extremism. ‘The Netherlands will work hard with other countries to solve these problems through active diplomacy and by offering aid.’

Mr Koenders also stressed that European and international cooperation was essential to tackle migration. The Netherlands wants to strengthen controls on the European Union’s external borders and make firm agreements with African countries on the repatriation of refugees and ways to improve people’s prospects in their countries of origin.

Assisting Dutch nationals abroad

Security also means assisting Dutch nationals abroad. Providing consular services is one of the ministry’s key tasks. The government is working to build a modern diplomatic service that will continue to promote and protect Dutch foreign interests in the future. An efficient network of embassies and other representations is ready to assist Dutch nationals and businesses abroad. Dutch people all over the world can count on the ministry’s help during crises and emergencies.

In 2018 the Netherlands will be a member of the UN Security Council, the most powerful body in the world for maintaining international peace and security. ‘This is a unique opportunity for the Netherlands to have a say in decision-making and to help set the agenda at the highest possible level,’ said Mr Koenders. ‘We will be making preparations in the year ahead.’