Annual report 2023
01 Jul 2024 - 18:31
Source: Clingendael

The fortieth anniversary of the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael passed in a dark year 2023. 

With a continuation of the war In Ukraine, a series of coups through the Sahel, war in Sudan and war between Israel and Hamas. Conflicts with terrible humanitarian consequences in the region and also with geopolitical effects because they are interconnected. First, in terms of power politics and capacity. The war in Gaza, the war in Ukraine and the tensions between China and Taiwan are all tests of US hegemony and capability. The war in Gaza interferes with US military support to Ukraine and the US intention to increase its strategic focus on China and Asia. These developments mean greater responsibility for Ukraine and the collective defence of Europe for European Union (EU) member states. The conflicts are also linked in terms of identity politics. Russian and Chinese media campaigns are already using the Israel-Gaza war in the ‘battle of narratives’. The narrative of Israel as the occupier, and throwing off the colonial yoke resonates all the way to the Sahel. The EU faces an important assessment and credibility test here.

With these major challenges in power politics, territorial politics and identity politics, the Netherlands in Europe needs a new compass, a geopolitical compass. With major issues regarding European Union enlargement and reform, security and defence policy, asylum and migration policy, and the euro in times of rising debt and geopolitics.  And with major concerns of the Dutch population about how international developments affect security and broad prosperity in the Netherlands and Europe and the international rule of law. For years, we have seen in the Clingendael Foreign Barometer surveys that there was social pessimism about the way the world is coming into the neighbourhood. Moreover, with the economic aftershocks and inflation caused by the large-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, concerns about personal livelihood security were added. This combination of social and personal pessimism has not occurred on this scale in the Netherlands for a long time, and resulted, after the fall of the Rutte-IV government, in an election campaign centred on migration and livelihood security. The big gains by parties seeking to define the Dutch community also lead to a realignment of the Dutch political compass, with implications for Clingendael's work.

The international and national political turbulence lead to a strong demand from existing and new clients and from society for independent analysis and training of competences of internationally operating professionals by Clingendael. Responding appropriately requires in-depth and broad knowledge, capacity and flexibility. Clingendael further invested in this in 2023. It is vital that Clingendael continues and sustains knowledge building 'ahead of the turbulence'. We do this with our highly committed and knowledgeable staff and a strong network of associated fellows, think tanks and other strategic partners. When selecting assignments and clients, we are guided by the mission statement of Clingendael, in which the public interest and society are central, and for which independence and transparency are crucial. The seniority in research methodology and didactic methods and the political sensitivity of our staff are essential in this respect. Therefore, we keep a keen eye on a sustainable workload and sufficient room for personal development. Also to increase the attractiveness and further strengthen of Clingendael as an employer in a tightening labour market.

We look forward to continued cooperation with all stakeholders to bring Clingendael's mission closer and thank our staff and Board of Supervisors for the role they play in doing so.

Download full annual report.



Financials 2023
Financials 2023


In 2023, Clingendael Institute achieved to be an ISO 27001 Certified Organisation for information security, cybersecurity and privacy protection.