The Netherlands Institute for International Relations ‘Clingendael’ has published a new report, titled “Multi-year Defence Agreements: A Model for Modern Defence?”. This study looks into two examples of countries that have applied the method of a so-called ‘Defence Agreement’. Denmark and Sweden have set the example (although both in a somewhat different manner) to establish a multi-year consensus on defence, encompassing coalition and opposition parties and governments, based on all stakeholders, including experts. The goal of the resulting ‘Defence Agreements’ is to create stability and clarity for a number of years on the purpose of the armed forces and on defence planning.
This study aims to provide a more in-depth discussion of the two models and to look at both their benefits and disadvantages. It is clear that the practice of defence agreements provides interesting lessons learned and (elements of) the models could be adopted in other countries to improve the process of defence policy-making and planning.
'The Netherlands Minister of Defence has given her reaction to the Report in a letter to Parliament on 15 September 2016 (Dutch, PDF). Moreover, Margriet Drent and Minke Meijnders have been invited to a 'special procedure' session on 6 October 2015 in Parliament to present and discuss the findings of their report.