This week, forty newly recruited Dutch diplomats started their training course for international policy officers at the Clingendael Academy. The next seven weeks are part of their two-year training programme as international policy officers at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The course opened with a word of welcome from the Director of Clingendael Academy Ron Ton, followed by an opening lecture by former NATO Secretary General and former Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. The session titled “The Netherlands in a changing world order”, provided the participants with contemporary geopolitical insights and trends relevant to their new role as soon-to-be diplomats.
Dutch foreign policy & diplomatic skills
As in previous years, Clingendael Academy put together a challenging and dynamic programme. Like last year, the course fully takes place online. Throughout, participants will receive tailor-made virtual live sessions with experts from academia, NGO's, the private sector and from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Clingendael’s in-house trainers work with several interactive online platforms, stimulating self-paced learning and interactive group work.
Participants will increase their knowledge of the Ministry's seven policy themes, ranging from European integration to development cooperation, and from consular affairs to international peace, security and the rule of law. In addition, the programme will offer training in essential diplomatic skills such as intercultural communication, international negotiation, and effective influencing. Based on interactive lectures, challenging case studies and tailor-made assignments, the participants are stimulated to grow in their analytical skills and their capacity to translate skills and knowledge into policy advice. The programme will be concluded with an international negotiation simulation in which each of the policy officers will take up a unique role.
Several civil servants from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality also take part. These participants bring valuable experiences and insights showcasing the interdepartmental nature of foreign relations.
The group will also pay working visits to Brussels, rules and regulations permitting, and later this year, they will return to Clingendael for two more weeks of training.