“History is like a riderless horse, galloping through the night”. This was the metaphor the then Spanish prime minister Félipe González used to describe an open and adventurous future, the night the Berlin Wall fell. In 1989, a political leader could say this, because these were times of democratization and hope in Europe. When commentators used this metaphor again in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the 24th of February 2022, they painted an apocalyptic image: an unleashed black horse galloping into the darkness. It depicted deep concerns about an uncertain, and frightening, future. In 2022 Clingendael strived to contribute to insight and diplomatic action in these difficult international conditions, and to finding new anchors in a geo-politicising world.
A combination of online training and hybrid approaches allows us to operate globally, and to reach professionals in conflict settings and areas facing severe access constraints as well. The built-up of relevant knowledge in, for example, the Clingendael Russia and Eastern Europe Centre, the experience of our researchers and trainers in regions affected by the war and its aftershocks, and our strong network with local researchers and diplomatic academies helps us to meet the needs of our clients and the national and international media. We wish to thank them all for their confidence in our work, for their involvement, and feedback on our services and products. This interaction is critical for the quality and relevance of our products.
The Netherlands Institute of International Relations "Clingendael" was founded on 3 January 1983. Forty years on, Clingendael’s mission Towards a secure, sustainable, and just world remains as urgent. We are proud to present the results of our team in this Clingendael Annual 2022. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all our dedicated and knowledgeable colleagues, including the ones who preceded us. We also wish to thank the members of the Supervisory Board who support us with their knowledge and experience, guided by our new chairman Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, who took office in September 2022. Arjan Buteijn served more than two intensive terms as chairman of the audit committee, during which he contributed significantly to the current robust business organisation and financial condition of Clingendael. We very much enjoyed Arjan’s constructive critique and support and are delighted we found a conscientious successor in Jan Maarten de Vet.
We shall continue with utmost dedication to analyse international developments, train internationally operating professionals, and inform the public debate to contribute to a secure, sustainable, and just world. This is what motivates Clingendael staff every day, as it did at the very start in 1983.
We are proud to present the results of our team in the Clingendael Annual Report 2022.