The Clingendael Institute has presented its Strategic Monitor 2017 to the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bert Koenders. The Clingendael Monitor sets out the increasing levels of threat and, at the same time, continuing collaborative efforts in the world, with a five-year horizon. You can read and share the Monitor online.
The Clingendael Strategic Monitor 2017 is a large-scale study which focuses on threats and international collaboration in ten areas: territorial integrity, terrorism, CBRN weapons, fragile states, energy, free trade, the crisis of confidence in the EU, cross-border criminality, climate change and cyber security. In each area Clingendael assesses the threats posed and the climate of international collaboration as well as anticipated trends for the next five years. In addition to the ten individual areas, the authors add an overview in the synthesis report. The epilogue devotes attention to the issue of what Donald Trump's election means for the world order.
The most significant conclusion made by Clingendael is that the strategic focus on Dutch security policy must be reviewed. Our safety and security is no longer dominated by geo-political tensions alone, but by a very diverse spectrum of threats, from climate change to flashpoints on the fringes of Europe. Despite geo-political tensions, such as those in the Crimea and the South China Sea, the powers are still prepared to collaborate.
Expectations are that even in the long term countries will continue to collaborate due to common, cross-border interests; think of the fight against terrorism, climate change and peace-keeping operations. In other areas there is a diversification of collaborative initiatives, such as with NGOs. The think-tank thus believes there is not one world order, but many levels on which different collaborative frameworks co-exist.
As Monika Sie, Director of the Clingendael Institute says, “Europe and the Netherlands will be confronted with an increasing number of very diverse security problems in coming years. That demands prioritisation within an integrated security strategy. Moreover, conflicts abroad have increasing resonance at home: the police in Dutch cities need to be aware of what is going on in Turkey in order to be able to understand tensions in their neighbourhoods. That demands better collaboration between ministries and agencies concerned with domestic and foreign counter-intelligence and security operations. And, ultimately, we can only protect ourselves in the long term against, for instance, mass unregulated immigration if we do something to address the fundamental causes fuelling it. This is another reason why Dutch ministries need to work together in a more co-ordinated way. All these reasons point to the need for a National Security Council that can ensure a more uniform policy, and strategic and operational control.”
Evidence-based Structured Expert Approach
The Monitor 2017 identifies the most important security trends on the basis of an evidence-based, structured expert approach. The most important indicators have been established for each of the ten areas, and Clingendael experts have created ten-year trend analyses. Moreover, more than 250 experts in the Netherlands and abroad have been consulted.