Security is not to be taken for granted: Security Strategy for the Kingdom of the Netherlands presented

The security of our Kingdom is not to be taken for granted. It requires our continuous attention, to make sure we are secure and stay secure. Because without security, we cannot live in freedom. Minister Yeşilgöz-Zegerius of Justice and Security and Minister Hoekstra of Foreign Affairs are sending the Security Strategy for the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the House of Representatives today.

This Security Strategy for the Kingdom lays the foundation for a future in which we are resilient and prepared for the threats of today and tomorrow. For the first time there is a strategy for all countries in the Kingdom and domestic and foreign security are connected policywise. Recent security analyses show that the urgency is high: the likelihood of events affecting national security in the coming years is relatively high.

“Security is a core task of the government. At the same time, there is no such thing as absolute security. Threats cannot be completely eliminated. This means that we also call on citizens, businesses, civil society organisations and other institutions to take action themselves against threats. It is also a call to be alert and prepared for when things unexpectedly do go wrong”,

Minister Yeşilgöz Zegerius says.

“The Russian invasion in Ukraine makes it clear once again that our European security is under threat. We experience yet another war on European soil. But that is not the only threat. Our geopolitical, economic and digital security are put to the test as well. This requires a coherent, proactive and vigorous response at both a domestic and international level. Strengthening our domestic resistance is not possible without the world around us. It comes with forming international coalitions and generating international support. A securer Kingdom requires solid cooperation in Europe, in NATO and globally”,

Minister Hoekstra says.

Strategic course

The security strategy consists of three parts. The first part concerns the national security interests which must be protected from the point of view of national security and the main developments of the threats against national security. The six national security interests are: territorial, physical, economic and ecological security, social and political stability and the international legal order and stability. The threat landscape translates into a strategic course in the second part of the strategy, along three main objectives and twelve lines of action that apply to the whole Kingdom. The three main objectives are: a secure Kingdom in a multipolar world, a resilient democratic legal order and a prepared and resilient society. The third part of the strategy answers the question what is the overall governance and responsibility-sharing on national security in the Kingdom itself?

Risk communication

This Security Strategy also marks the start of a new phase in the intensification of risk communication by central government, together with among others the security regions, municipal authorities and civil society organisations. The website (be prepared) has been live since December 2022 and explains what the government does in preparation of threats and crisis as well as how citizens and companies can prepare. With this new phase, an online public campaign has started calling on people to talk with their environment about risks and being prepared. This increases risk awareness in society.

The Security Strategy for the Kingdom of the Netherlands has been established with the broad involvement of public, private and civil society organisations in all parts of the Kingdom, under the coordination of the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV).