June 23. 2024. 1:31

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Netherlands unveils new security strategy

Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra and Justice Minister Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius unveiled the country’s new security strategy that urges citizens to be vigilant, the companies to take also their own measures and warn of the challenges to Europe’s “geopolitical, economic and digital security”.

The strategy highlights Russia’s war in Ukraine and cyber threats as threatening security and also picks on aspects of two prior policy documents: the Integrated Foreign and Security Strategy (2018) and the National Security Strategy (2019).

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine makes it again clear that our European security is threatened. We are experiencing another war on European soil. But that is not the only threat. Our geopolitical, economic and digital security are also being challenged. This calls for a coherent, proactive and forceful response at national as well as international level,” Hoekstra stated.

The strategy also aims to make the country “resilient and prepared for the threats of today and tomorrow”.

The strategy consists of three main parts, which cover national security interests, a strategic direction and the distribution of responsibilities concerning security issues among the authorities. It also sets out three main goals: A “secure kingdom in a multipolar world”, a “resilient, democratic legal order,” and a “ready and resilient society.”

The strategy is also the starting point of an online campaign which seeks to animate citizens and different parts of society to discuss potential security threats while also seeking to strengthen risk communication.

“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. That means we also call on citizens, companies, civil society organisations and other institutions to also take their own measures against threats. With that, it is also a call to be alert and prepared. For when things do go wrong unexpectedly,” Yeşilgöz-Zegerius said.

The strategy’s unveiling comes when the Netherlands is taking increased measures to fortify security ties with allied countries. This is reflected in the country’s recent decision to implement export controls on semiconductor technology based on an agreement with Japan and the US and hosting a €1 billion-strong NATO defence innovation fund.

“Strengthening our national resilience cannot be done without the world around us. This includes forming international coalitions and generating international support. A safer Kingdom requires solid cooperation in Europe, in NATO and worldwide,” Hoekstra emphasised.

(Benedikt Stöckl | EURACTIV.com)