Clingendael Academy

Experts in diplomatic and international training


We are pleased to meet you

While the world is in flux, both internationally and politically, global economic ties continue to expand. As a result, the need for diplomacy and effective tools for international cooperation has grown substantially. Clingendael Academy’s mission - to provide the knowledge and skills professionals need to operate effectively in international and politically sensitive environments - has gained a new sense of urgency. At Clingendael Academy, we believe in diplomacy and international cooperation. We also know from our own experience that, in order to work successfully on an international level, specialised training is required. This is why we have exclusively dedicated ourselves to providing such training. For diplomats, we provide full vocational training for every phase of their careers. For other professionals, we provide relevant knowledge and skills seminars.

I am proud of Clingendael Academy’s history. I dare to say that, worldwide, we are not only one of the largest independent diplomatic academies, but also one of the oldest with the most varied background of experience. More importantly, in my view, we always strive to deliver the best training for our participants and clients. That means constantly adapting training programmes to new participant groups, seeking out and building new training sessions around the latest international developments, and designing new training materials and interactive methods. Our own in-house capacity to invent, update, and create the most impactful simulations, case studies, and exercises is what makes Clingendael Academy truly unique. One of our innovations is the flexible integration of content, competences, and work processes, the Clingendael method, which allows us to customise every training and adapt to the needs of our counterparts.

I hope you will read the information in this brochure and, when you have finished, be convinced that we are ready and able to assist you – whatever your needs or concerns.

Ron Ton

Director Clingendael Academy

Who we are

Responsible for training approximately 650 diplomats and an additional 2,500 professionals every year, Clingendael Academy is one of the world’s largest independent diplomatic academies. Empowering professionals to take effective action in international and politically sensitive environments, we help our participants develop the professional skills they need to grow and thrive – both now and in the future.

Rooted in tradition...

As a truly independent platform, free of all political, social, and religious affiliations, the Institute provides an ideal setting for education, training, conferences, and roundtables.

...Yet relentlessly innovative

Our rich history aside, Clingendael Academy’s team of approximately 25 trainers and educational professionals is intensely focused on current trends, concerns, and methods of instruction. In our quest to strengthen professional aptitude, we are constantly on the lookout for new developments within the world of international affairs. Participants are also granted access to online learning and evaluation platforms, and other state-of-the-art systems and technologies. Always open to new ideas and practices, our trainers are ambitious, energetic, and eager to adapt their course material to the most relevant issues at hand.

What we do

A domain of many actors

As a result of pervasive globalisation, international affairs involve more actors than ever before. From international organisations, multinationals and diplomats to small-scale traders, environmental activists and governmental experts, the need for interaction and partnership in politics, economics, trade, energy, environmental regulation, and security continues to intensify.

Learn to avoid the pitfalls

Given the delicate nature of international communication, appropriate knowledge and skills are essential to achieving positive results. When it comes to objectives such as profitable contract creation or new agreements on vital issues such as climate change or peace and security, your professional ‘toolkit’ can make all the difference. Whatever your ambition in the field of international relations, Clingendael Academy is here to train you in effectively operating on the international stage.

In-house expertise

Clingendael is proud to offer special thematic expertise in diplomacy and foreign affairs, security and conflict management, and European Union (EU) affairs. Moreover, our internationally recognised skills programmes are well known for their excellence, particularly in the realm of international negotiations. We also provide open registration courses, administer trainings, assist diplomatic partner institutions with capacity building, and provide consulting services to professional organisations across the globe.

How we work

Using the following principles to guide us, our greatest strength lies in our commitment to balancing high quality education with practical know-how.

Cohesion: the big picture

We combine cutting-edge, context-specific knowledge with relevant, action-oriented skills training.

By thoroughly covering both the factual and practical sides of the subject at hand, you’ll be prepared for whatever challenge may come your way.

Dialogue: a habit of open communication

We do more than simply recognise the importance of open communication, we consciously foster a safe and supportive environment for sharing, dialogue, and debate.

Encouraging participants to learn from each other, as well as from their own mistakes, our programmes are designed to make the learning process as conversational as possible. Including active debate, networking events, and panel discussions, training activities are based on a concept of give and take. Individual questions or struggles? We encourage everyone to speak up.

Interaction: practice, practice, practice

When it comes to training, we use real-life scenarios; in fact, specially designed simulations are one of our most important and frequently utilised tools.

Furthermore, we actively encourage our participants to take responsibility for their own individual learning process – after all, diligence is required of anyone who wishes to improve his or her performance. By means of case studies, expert workshops, simulations, and self-assessments, we strive to help you integrate and apply the course material to your own career.

Feedback: the one-on-one

While some of our programmes begin with a personal-needs analysis and intake interviews, all of our programmes are led by training fellows who are available to speak with participants outside of official course sessions, whether to discuss personal reactions or to answer questions regarding the curriculum.

Whenever possible, we use individual check-ins to make sure everyone is learning the material and knows how to apply it.

Expertise: from far and wide

Specialists in their fields, Clingendael Academy training fellows regularly look beyond their own horizons in order to enrich participants’ development.

We have access to a large external network of speakers, including but not limited to: civil society and business representatives, academics, policy makers, and officers from various international institutions. Providing the most comprehensive and layered curriculum possible, we invite a multitude of guest speakers from both in and outside of Clingendael to share their first-hand experiences and insights with the group. What’s more, we often take participants on field trips to relevant institutions and places of interest.

Who we work with

A diverse crowd...

Welcoming participants from all over the world, Clingendael Academy is particularly suited to serve diplomats, civil servants from central and local governments, NGOs, international organisations, academic institutions, and intergovernmental bodies. In addition to company representatives, lobbyists, and consultants, we also train military officers, police officers, and security agencies. While the range of participants is highly diverse, two common characteristics prevail: agency in an international context, and a desire to improve performance.

...In 100+ countries

In addition to the many programmes offered at our home in The Hague, we also conduct numerous training programmes abroad. Accustomed to working with intercultural differences, as well as in (culturally or politically) sensitive environments, our highly experienced trainers have taught in more than 100 countries and regularly continue to expand their reach.

Our network

With alumni across the globe, Clingendael Academy has a large and international network encompassing more than 7,000 diplomats from over 140 countries. Including strong partnerships with universities and diplomatic academies worldwide, we work with many different institutions both in and outside of Europe. In addition to numerous regional partnerships, for example with entities in the Western Balkan, ASEAN, and Sub-Saharan Africa, Clingendael Academy is represented in many of the prominent international diplomatic networks, including the European Diplomatic Programme (EDP) and the International Forum on Diplomatic Training (IFDT).


Since 2004, Clingendael Academy has been working closely with the Indonesian MFA’s Centre of Education and Training, an institute known for being one of Southeast Asia’s most established modern diplomatic training centres.

What can we do for you

Continuously adapting to the priorities and ambitions of our partners and clients, Clingendael Academy is an experienced provider of customised training programmes. Together with you, we determine the best possible combination of training components, the particulars of which can be grouped into three categories:

  • Content: what you need to know
  • Competences: crucial qualities and skills
  • Work processes: How to complete specific tasks and activities

Especially when it comes to our areas of expertise (diplomacy and foreign affairs, security and conflict management, EU affairs, and international negotiation skills), we can combine any of the following content, competences, and work processes in order to provide your organisation with the exact training it needs. That is The Clingendael Method™.

The Clingendael Method™

The Clingendael Method

Our alumni over the last 10 years

Our alumni over the last 10 years

Huys Clingendael

Our training location

An extraordinary location

All diplomatic and most other Clingendael training programmes take place in a historic 17th century mansion situated in The Hague’s Clingendael Park. Named after its location in a dael (‘valley’) of the clingen (an old Dutch word for ‘sand dunes’), ‘Clingendael’ actually means ‘valley in the dunes’. Clingendael Park is famous for its gardens, which include old Dutch, French, and English garden landscapes and even a unique Japanese garden. The surroundings provide a beautiful training setting, one in which participants meet and interact with experts and other diplomats engaged at the Academy. We take full advantage of the opportunity to arrange relevant working visits for our participants, both in and around The Hague and to the nearby EU and NATO institutions in Belgium.

The Hague

Clingendael and all of her participants benefit greatly from the dynamic and international city surrounding the Institute. With a vast network in and among the international community, Clingendael Institute functions as an important convener.

Over the past 800 years, the city of The Hague has grown from a small dwelling to the International City of Peace and Justice. Officially named ’s Gravenhage (‘the count’s hedge’), it is one of United Nations’ main cities. There are 160 international organisations in The Hague, employing approximately 14,000 people dedicated to the cause of world peace.

The Hague is also home to an extensive community of diplomats and expats. More than 150 countries have official representation based in the ‘city by the sea’, which also boasts a wide variety of sights, museums, galleries, and historic monuments.

Our facilities

The Huys Clingendael, the official name of the building that houses Clingendael Institute’s offices and lecture rooms, combines a historic setting with modern facilities. Five conference rooms, equipped with the latest technical amenities, provide the ideal setting for lectures, workshops, interactive trainings, and conferences.

Our logistical and organisational capacity

Hosting roughly 100 training programmes every year, Clingendael Academy has decades of experience arranging the logistics for visiting participants from around the world. From A to Z, we ta ke care of everything: starting from the moment of initial contact on through closing evaluations and follow-up upon participants’ return home. We are able to quickly book all necessary logistical arrangements, allowing us to organise training programmes on very short notice.

Mr. Jozias van Aartsen, Former mayor of The Hague

‘I highly value the way in which Clingendael Academy unites and connects people from all over the world in The Hague. I believe that Clingendael Academy is of indispensable value to The Hague, the International City of Peace and Justice, and to the Netherlands as a whole.’

Mr. Jozias van Aartsen

Former mayor of The Hague and former Minister of Foreign Affairs

Diplomatic training

Diplomacy as a global profession

The diplomatic profession involves thousands of practitioners around the world. Essential for cooperation between nations and people, and to avoid conflict, the profession of diplomacy comes with its own set of skills and knowledge and, as such, demands its own dedicated vocational training institutions. Clingendael Academy is precisely such an organisation.

A changing environment

As a consequence of changing dynamics on both global and local levels, the role of diplomats is constantly evolving. Diplomats must be able to quickly adapt to new realities while remaining flexible towards changing patterns of diplomacy. Here at Clingendael, we pay special attention to the ongoing trends affecting diplomats’ ability to function, be they the emergence of network diplomacy, the digitalisation of diplomatic work, the increasing influence of non-go vernmental stakeholders, or the increasing significance of specialised diplomacy.

Many years of experience

Having trained Dutch diplomats since our official founding in 1983, and through one of our predecessors since 1967, Clingendael Academy began providing widespread training to foreign diplomatic organisations in the early 1990s. Starting with the end of the Cold War and Apartheid, we supported the subsequent democratic transitions and the emergence of new and transformed diplomatic organisations in Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Southern Africa, and South Africa. Clingendael’s customised diplomatic training programmes helped lay the groundwork for participants to effectively pursue and achieve their goals.

Diplomacy remade

Clingendael’s diplomatic training services continued throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, eventually expanding to include young diplomats from the Balkan states, Southern Asia, and Central Africa. Each of these region’s respective MFAs joined forces with Clingendael Academy to bolster their diplomatic efficacy and advance their region’s process of dialogue and reconciliation. Since 2004, the number of bilateral and regional diplomatic training programmes conducted by Clingendael has only continued to grow. We have built new diplomatic training partnerships with Indonesia and China, the Maghreb countries, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Presently, Clingendael Academy provides training to 650 foreign diplomats from over 70 countries each year, both at Huys Clingendael in The Hague and on location. Additionally, we train approximately 40 Dutch diplomats in one-month and three-month training programmes every year.

Having initially supported the governments of countries in transition, we are now supporting diplomats confronted by an everchanging international system. In addition to globalisation, increased international travel and interconnectedness, rapid technological change, geopolitical power shifts, and global challenges such as climate change and cyber security, the demands placed on diplomats and the expectations of the public at large are remaking diplomacy as we know it.

Specialised educational programmes

We train diplomats to be the best in their profession. Adapting The Clingendael Method™ to the profession’s unique role in the field of international relations, every training is built knowing that a diplomat’s work is characterised by:

  • An international and politically sensitive context;
  • Interest management and representation of their respective countries;
  • Direct involvement with a large range of issues, requiring the capacity to quickly learn and apply new information;
  • The need to network, functioning as a bridge-builder, a connector, and a hub in the context of modern networking theory;
  • Interest management and representation of their respective countries;
  • The responsibility to act as a service provider to other ministries, to the private sector, to civilians, and to every other possible actor who enters the field of international cooperation and is in need of a helping hand

Geographical and thematic diplomatic training programmes

We train diplomats in a wide range of arenas and topics: per country or per region, in specialised programmes, and throughout every phase of their career. Regardless of the precise focus, we always use The Clingendael Method™ to adapt our diplomatic training programmes to f it participants’ specific needs.

Geographic diplomatic training programmes

In many of our programmes, The Clingendael MethodTM is applied to specific country or regional contexts. As we welcome new partner countries every year, we adapt our general diplomatic training programmes to fit the needs of the new participants. Examples of such specific participant groups include diplomats from different Caribbean countries, where emphasis is placed on sharing best practices with each other and on the European Union (EU), and diplomats from countries of the Eastern European Partnership, where there is a stronger focus on EU institutions and decision-making processes. Furthermore, we have created multilateral and regional-level programmes for diplomatic groups from the UN, the EU, ECOWAS, SADC, IGAD, EAC, ASEAN, CARICOM and SICA.

The Clingendael Method™ example

The Clingendael Method™ example

Thematic diplomatic training programmes

We create new programmes in order to address developments and issues that have become pressing for diplomats. Often combining a regional and thematic focus, and designing our programmes to handle new and pressing diplomatic affairs, we regularly prepare diplomats to deal with specific issues involving agriculture, water, public concerns, sustainability, and internet technology. Whether a training’s main focus is to encourage increased regional cooperation or to strengthen expertise on a specific topic, every singletraining programme is one of a kind and includes a different combination of content, competences, and work processes.

The Clingendael Method™ example

The Clingendael Method™ example


Clingendael is one of the founders of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute, an organisation with whom we continue to enjoy a fruitful partnership.

Ron Ton, director Clingendael Academy and Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute

Distinct degrees of focus

Diplomatic training programme examples with distinct degrees of thematic and geographic focus

Diplomatic training programme examples with distinct degrees of thematic and geographic focus

Training diplomats in every phase of their career

Training diplomats in every phase of their career

Kani Shareef, Second secretary of the Iraqi embassy in The Hague

‘It was a great opportunity, as a junior diplomat to join a prestigious institution like Clingendael Academy. I gained considerable experience in my training at Clingendael and it helped me in my career.’

Kani Shareef

Second Secretary of the Iraqi Embassy in The Hague Political Adviser of the Iraqi Representative to the OPCW

How can we support you?

Whether your organisation would benefit from a four-day intensive seminar on how to chair an international conference, a two-week training on economic diplomacy and sustainability, or a custom-made, three-month course on the basics of diplomacy, Clingendael Academy knows how to identify the needs of your individual organisation, and how to gener ate and deliv er specific curriculum accordingly. If necessary, many of our programmes can even be developed on relatively short notice. Interested? We encourage you to reach out with your questions and ideas – we would welcome the opportunity to explore what Clingendael Academy can do for you.

Forwardthinking and on the move

Within our very own didactic and teac, our staff is busy developing new methods, simulations, case studies, and role-plays. Constantly changing and updating our programmes, we also use integrated digital learning platforms to enhance the participant’s learning experience. A few examples of new and revised diplomatic training materials include: our recent creation of a new EU and NATO parallel negotiation role-play scenario built to help diplomats get a handle on a presently developing conflict situation; our game-design revision conceived to address the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals; and the regular in-house devising of high-level diplomatic talks on subjects involving, among others, current human rights issues, migration, and trade. Both our repertoire of existing exercises and methods, as well as our capacity to develop these anew, are part of what make Clingendael Academy unique in the world of democratic training providers.

Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, The Netherlands

‘Clingendael’s course offers a unique and well-rounded perspective on international relations in the 21st century.’

Sigrid Kaag

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of The Netherlands and alumna of the Course on Foreign Relations (LBB)

Diplomatic training facts and figures

  • Training foreign diplomats for more than 25 years
  • Training Dutch diplomats for 50 years
  • About 40 diplomatic training projects every year
  • Diplomatic training programmes spanning the length of a few days up to 3 months (and everything in between)
  • Training for junior, mid-career, and senior-level diplomats
  • Vocational training programmes for every aspect of diplomatic work
  • In-house training capacity and training materials for diplomatic skills and related competences
  • Specialised training programmes in cyber diplomacy, water diplomacy, the Blue Economy, and many more topical themes and subjects
  • Regional specialised training programmes on bilateral, regional, and multilateral levels
  • 650 visiting foreign diplomats per year
  • A network of 7,000+ active diplomatic alumni from over 140 different countries

International skills training

What and why

Simply stated, skills training is the discipline of actively practicing useful competences. Through a process of focused, interactive exercises, trial and error, expert guidance, and personal dedication, Clingendael Academy believes everyone has the capacity to develop new habits and abilities. Aimed at improving performance, our international skills training provides a personal solution for professionals looking to find their own answers to new demands in an ever-changing international environment.

Clingendael Academy offers skills training in the following disciplines:

  • Negotiation
  • Mediation and consensus building
  • Intercultural communication
  • Presentation and debating techniques
  • Effective communication
  • Lobbying and interest representation
  • Policy and memo- writing styles and techniques
  • Strategic networking
  • Scenario building and strategic planning
  • Crisis communication
  • Conflict and stakeholder analysis

A part of every programme

Skills training is relevant to all of our courses and an indispensable element of almost every programme. When it comes to EU af fairs training, for example, consensus-building skills are central to our preparatory EU presidency trainings. We also train diplomats in negotiation and presentation skills, and the debating techniques necessary to operate within the UN system. What’s more, we help military officials hone their diplomatic skills before being deployed on international missions, and before beginning new functions at an embassy or NATO.

Clingendael skills training abroad

Clingendael skills training abroad

For negotiators

Since early 1990, Clingendael Academy has been providing negotiation training to professionals around the world. While interests play an important role in all negotiations, relationships are at least as crucial, especially when it comes to international affairs. In addition to teaching participants to determine exactly what they want from a negotiation, our programmes train professionals to recognise their own style and intentions as negotiators, as well as those of the other parties involved. With a considerable emphasis on active listening, empathy, and anticipation, Clingendael Academy’s unique approach to negotiation training combines behavioural and group-dynamics analysis with procedural and structural insights. We also draw upon our own in-house research network, ‘Processes of International Negotiation’ (PIN), for the latest theoretical insights.

Possessing an extensive and diverse training portfolio, we have, among others, trained diplomats in UN-based negotiations in New York, Tunisian government officials in EU trade negotiations, and Malaysian diplomats in negotiation skills during their time in the ASEAN presidency. We have also contributed to other diplomatic academies’ previously established negotiation training programmes, including those in Indonesia, South Africa, Bulgaria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Kosovo, Armenia, Costa Rica, and Georgia.

Simone Ouattara, Women's Rights Senior Programme Officer AU

‘I had the opportunity to participate in a Clingendael Academy negotiation training. I was taught extraordinary techniques and learned about dif ferent strengths and weaknesses in negotiations.’

Simone Ouattara

Women, Gender, and Development Directorate African Union Commission

For groups in conflict

Large-scale, multi-issue, multi-party, and politically sensitive negotiations make for a highly specialised form of bargaining. In situations of conflict, the involved parties often lack experience in strategic political negotiation, priority establishment, or in adhering to a mandate.

For some groups, even recognising the opposing side as a legitimate negotiating party can be too much to ask. To complicate matters even further, the task of negotiating is not always delegated to a trained negotiator, but may instead fall on the shoulders of individuals unfamiliar with the unique demands and skills required to negotiate successfully, such as military leaders.

In order to operate clearly, calmly, and decisively under the enormous stress of peace-talk negotiations, Clingendael training sessions help groups in conflict develop a reliable set of skills. Equally important, our training programmes help participants avoid the pitfalls often suffered by inexperienced negotiators; pitfalls such as ineffective positional bargaining, failure to set clear priorities, failure to authentically consider other parties’ interests, and approaching negotiations as a zero-sum situation. Devised to increase the ability of conflicting parties to independently reach a sustainable peace agreement, Clingendael training focuses on the development of both effective negotiation skills and knowledge.

Supported by the Netherlands MFA, we work together with international organisations that have a long-running commitment to peace and security in different countries and regions, and that recognise a need for training among their counterparts. In recent years, our work has included projects with the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, the UNDP, and the UN’s Mediation Support Unit. We have also trained a diverse number of Syrian groups, both first and second track, including women’s groups.

For mediators

Clingendael Academy recognises the crucial need to train the actors and individuals mediating tense negotiation processes. What is mediation exactly? At its core, mediation is the facilitation of a negotiation process, a task which involves one delicate but primary concern: minimising the damages incurred by negotiating parties while maximising a common point of agreement.

Successful mediators must be aware of their intrinsic motivation, their role, their constituents, the mandates to which negotiating parties must adhere, and the internal and external pressures at play, both in terms of the groups’ dynamics, as well as in light of their own role as a mediator. Clingendael mediator training programmes are specially designed to help participants acquire this comprehensive range of skills and insight.

Examples of recent Clingendael mediation training programmes include those developed for a group of African women mediators, first in South Africa, and then in the form of an alumnae course at Clingendael. We have worked with ECOWAS to support the development of their organisation’s mediation resources, and we have conducted insider mediation training with the Council of Churches in Southern Sudan to help the members of the clergy in their role as conflict managers. We also support regional organisations, such as the African Union, and ASEAN, in enhancing their institutional capacity for mediation and conflict resolution, both in terms of individual skill development, as well as in setting up a framework for mediation support.

For other groups

We have provided crisis communication training to the Syrian opposition, effective communication and intercultural communication training to a diverse group of senior government officials from the Balkan states in Montenegro, and policy writing workshops for diplomats from the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi. Our training history is long and diverse and this brochure only covers the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the work that we do. For more information and to discuss what we can do for you and your organisation, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Clingendael. Our team of experienced, multicultural, and multi-linguistic professionals will be happy to help.

Annual skills training facts and figures

  • 400 distinct programmes
  • 1,100 sessions
  • 100 nationalities
  • approximately 2,000 participants

Suzanne van Tilburg, Strategy manager Rabobank International

‘Clingendael is the only institute that has guided me throughout my whole career and I am still eager to learn more!’

Suzanne van Tilburg

Senior Strategy Manager, Rabobank International

Security and conflict management

For the modern age

When it comes to the objective number of civil wars and wars between states, the world as we know it is currently safer than ever before. Nevertheless, the shifting balances of geopolitical power, the expanding influence of non-state actors, and the astonishing speed at which technology continues to develop all result in a strain on traditional mechanisms of managing security and conflict. We may find ourselves in a time of relative peace, but we also find ourselves in a time of great uncertainty.

Global interconnection means that security threats, even those that originate far away, have the potential to quickly and intensely impact our own domestic arenas. While the realm of international security remains dominated by official actors, including foreign policy makers, military, police, and security officers, many professionals are now required to possess an understanding of international security issues. In today’s world, dominated by uncertainty, the question looms: how do we prepare ourselves for emerging and imminent threats, and how do we position ourselves to take advantage of the opportunities of tomorrow?

Ton van Ede, Lieutenant General (Ret.) of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps

‘At Clingendael, I gained knowledge and skills that were very valuable throughout my career. I highly recommend the training courses of Clingendael Academy to anyone working in an international context and interested in continuous learning.’

Ton van Ede

Lieutenant-General (Ret.) of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps and alumnus of the Course on Foreign Relations (LBB)

Our commitment

Dedicated to staying alert and informed, Clingendael Academy understands the complexities of modern security management. In order to help you grasp the elements at play, we break down and explain the most pertinent themes related to security and international conflict. Just as importantly, our training fellows instruct on the steps and processes necessary to act effectively in specific situations. By bringing a multitude of security-related actors together, participants also gain a synergistic understanding of, and insights into, a broad range of content, competences, and work processes. Using The Clingendael Method™, every training is adapted to the needs of our clients, who come from all around the world. With our in-house, expert trainers to guide you, we focus on helping your organisation improve its performance.

International security

Focussed on helping participants discover where and how their respective organisations can be more effective, we train participants to analyse international cooperation arrangements and the international and European security contexts.

In addition to discussing and reviewing geopolitical trends and current developments, we also look at international best practices and work on expanding each participant’s network of non-governmental actors. Past and current recipients of such custom-made training programmes include the Netherlands Police Academy, the Netherlands Ministry of Interior Affairs, the Netherlands Ministry of Defence, and our open registration participants.

International relations, strategy and diplomacy

As military staff rise in rank, their work becomes more international, with possible assignments including NATO or embassy postings where they function as military attaché. Demanding a different set of skills, one much closer to that of diplomats, ambitious police officers are equally susceptible to such radical changes in job description. For many years, Clingendael Academy has trained Dutch police and senior military officers in understanding geopolitical developments, and effective multinational cooperation skills.

We use table-top simulations to walk senior officers through international crisis negotiations in the context of specialised intergovernmental organisations, such as the UN, EU, and NATO. Participants learn how these security organisations make decisions, including the most significant interest groups and factors at play, and how to pro-actively achieve results.

Pre-deployment mission training

Prior to embarking on a security-related mission, individual experts selected for UN, NATO, OSCE, and EU missions must be prepared for their deployment to areas such as the Middle East, Afghanistan, and the Sahel. By closely examining their destination’s historical and political context, local customs, the regional workings of international organisations, the mandates of their respective missions, and more, participants are trained to function as on-the-ground observers, trainers, and mentors. Clingendael Academy also provides these participant groups with negotiation and mediation training; programmes that were long offered as part of the ENTRi network – of which Clingendael is a founding father – and financed by the European Commission.

Security-sector capacity building

For many years now, Clingendael Academy training programmes have helped support security-sector development in countries around the world. In the past, such programmes have included assisting: the Lebanese Armed Forces leadership in building their own proper CIMIC (civil-military cooperation) capacity, the Afghan government in strategic policy planning, and the ECOWAS Early Warning Directorate with a scenario workshop focussed on advancing early warning mechanisms within their organisation. We also support the Ethiopian Foreign Relations Strategic Studies Institute (EFRSSI) and have worked with Lemhannas, the Indonesian central training institute for senior government and military officials.

Security and conflict management
Facts and figures

  • Providing (security) professionals with diplomatic skills, international development knowledge, and security-related insights since 1983
  • Training high-level Dutch military personnel for more than 20 years
  • A history of involvement in security-services training in the context of international political developments, and police training in international cooperation
  • Assisting in strategic planning, scenario-building, and policy development for governments and international organisations

Understanding the EU

For 'inside' and 'outside' officials

EU decision-making processes are at least as complicated as those in Washington, Beijing, or Moscow. At Clingendael Academy, we offer complete introductory and advanced-level EU courses and custom-made trainings to help you make sense of Brussels’ internal workings. Although to varying degrees, most of our diplomatic training programmes also focus on understanding EU-related topics.

For 'inside' officials

Interest management, lobbying, and negotiation skills

In light of the EU’s extensive scope of power, boosting your influence to affect national policy is just one of the many reasons to learn to strengthen your own voice in Brussels. An experienced provider of custom-made, in-company trainings, and with past clients including but not limited to the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, TNO, CBS, and Flemish municipalities, Clingendael Academy tunes each and every programme to the specific ambitions of the organisation and participants in question.

From EU research programmes to ‘smart and sustainable city’ trainings, participants learn the ins and outs of effective influencing. When it comes to EU negotiations, we also have the privilege of training a diverse range of students and diplomats every year, for example in the programmes organised by the College of Europe. Additionally, we train diplomats from all EU Member States and EU Institutions as part of the European Diplomatic Programme

Presidency training

Every six months, the EU presidency rotates to another Member State. As a result, every Member State can benefit from presidency training, which offers participants the chance to gain an extremely in-depth understanding of EU decision-making processes and the role of the presidency in the legislative agenda, along with negotiation, chairing, and consensus-building skills. Clingendael Academy is involved or has recently been involved in training civil servants from the Netherlands, Slovakia, and Bulgaria in preparation of their turn in the rotating presidency seat. In the past, we have also had the opportunity to train civil servants and diplomats from the UK, the Czech Republic, and Poland.

For 'outside' officials

How to engage with Brussels

The EU’s influence stretches far beyond its borders. While possible future Member States or countries involved in the EU Neighbourhood policy are the most affected, many economies the world over have interests worth safeguarding in Brussels. Furthermore, countries involved in their own process of regional integration often look to the EU for a positive example, such as is the case with ASEAN countries. A long-time provider of specialised EU courses, current Clingendael Academy programmes for diplomats and other officials outside of the EU include our annual programme for North African countries, trainings at home and abroad for Indian civil servants, and a specialised EU negotiation course for Tunisian trade negotiators. Regardless of your whereabouts, learning to understand and effectively engage with the European system can make a meaningful difference in your career and organisation.

Understanding the EU
Facts and figures

  • Provided EU skills training and seminars to more than 2,500 professionals working within the context of the EU
  • EU affairs as an integral part of many of our diplomatic training programmes and security-related courses
  • Worked with over 20 national ministries and international organisations, such as the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the College of Europe, the Flemish government, the RVO, and many others
  • Trained 689 Dutch civil servants in preparation of their appointment to the EU Rotating Presidency in 2015

Clingendael EU training courses: helping you navigate the maze of operations and insititutions

Clingendael EU training courses: helping you navigate the maze of operations and insititutions

Capacity-building services

Diplomatic capacity-building partners

Diplomatic capacity-building partners

Your partner in development

Offering a wide range of capacity-building and consultancy services, we enjoy the opportunity to connect and work together with like-minded organisations. As a prominent diplomatic training institute with many years of experience, Clingendael Academy is qualified to provide guidance and support to diplomatic academies around the world. Depending on the needs of the partner institution, our capacity-building programmes vary greatly in size and scope. Previous cooperations range from helping establish new academies to exchanges with well-established partners, and from comprehensive, multi-year programmes to short workshops.

Creating strong institutions

Could your organisation benefit from assistance with institutional capacity building, joint curriculum development, teacher training, or the design and use of interactive exercises? Clingendael Academy offers its partnership and expertise.


All of our partner capacity-building courses are custom made. Drawing on our own experience to stimulate reflection and creativity, we encourage recipient ownership every step of the way. Adapting a range of engaging exercises to suit your needs, we create opportunities for active participation in organisational and training development. Interaction, dialogue, and feedback are central to our approach. Capacity-building programmes and workshops are available in English and French, and can be conducted at Clingendael in The Hague or on site abroad.

Capacity-building services
Facts and figures

  • More than 20 years of experience offering capacity-building assistance to diplomatic academies across the globe
  • Both long-running commitments and short-term intervention ‘train the trainer’ programmes, as well as curriculum development plans based on years of diplomatic training experience
  • Strategic planning and institutional development programmes specifically designed for MFAs

Open registration courses

Available to anyone with an interest in international affairs, we offer a variety of open registration courses designed to highlight Clingendael Academy´s niches and strengths. Each course differs in duration – from an intensive three-month ‘Course on Foreign Relations’ to one of the many three-hour lectures offered through our ‘Course on International Politics’, and everything in between. Each course also employs its own unique mix of Clingendael Method™. Highlights include our:

  • Course on foreign relations

    By strengthening participants’ knowledge of foreign relations and enhancing their most essential skills, our Course on Foreign Relations is an ideal stepping stone for the advancement of any international career. With more than 70 editions and 1,000 alumni since 1967, it is also Clingendael’s longest running open registration course.
  • Seminar international negotiations

    This four-day intensive skills-training seminar is the culmination of Clingendael Academy’s extensive work and years of experience in negotiations training. Whether participants work in the field of security, trade, business, energy, the environment, economics or politics, knowing how to negotiate effectively is of critical importance.
  • Course on international security

    To fully grasp and anticipate the risks associated with international security threats, the impacts of which can be felt on both national and local levels, Clingendael offers training for (international) staff from NGOs, police, defence organisations, and the private sector.

If so desired, all of our open registration courses can be redeveloped into custom-made programmes to fit the needs of your staff and achieve the curriculum goals that are right for you.

Visit our website, to find the latest information regarding our current course descriptions and dates.

Training components

Training components