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Research Report

Multi-year Defence Agreements in the Netherlands

Anne Bakker
Margriet Drent
Copyright Date: Jun. 1, 2016
Published by: Clingendael Institute
Pages: 10
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Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. 1-2)

    The manner in which Dutch defence policy comes about should be changed. Accumulating budget cuts and a mismatch between ambitions and resources have left the Dutch defence establishment craving a long-term perspective. A variant of a Multi-year Defence Agreement might offer a solution.

    Since the end of the Cold War, the Dutch defence budget has gone into free fall. With the sharp rise in the level of threat in and around Europe, there is growing concern on the part of the government and a substantial part of the House of Representatives that the Dutch armed forces have been eroded too...

  2. (pp. 3-4)

    There are roughly three variants of the Defence Agreement. These are: (1) the ambitious variant; (2) the intermediate variant and (3) the light variant.

    The ambitious variant is in line with the practice in Sweden and Denmark. This starts with a policy review-type exercise┬│ being carried out, in which a committee consisting of parliamentarians from all the participating parties, together with experts from the relevant ministries, the armed forces, academic circles and research institutes, prepares an analysis of the international security situation. This committee is assisted in the drafting process by the Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs. Ideally, parliament...

  3. (pp. 4-6)

    Defence Agreements exist in numerous variants in different countries. The time seems ripe to take a different approach to the formation of Dutch defence policy and to introduce a variant of a Defence Agreement in the Netherlands. At a time when the Netherlands faces a seriously deteriorating security situation, its armed forces are in danger of being unable to offer an effective response. Overlapping and accumulating budget cuts and a mismatch between ambitions and resources have left the Dutch defence establishment craving clarity and a long-term perspective on how the armed forces will meet these challenges. There are good reasons...