The Future of Police Missions
Franca van der Laan
Luc van de Goor
Rob Hendriks
Jaïr van der Lijn
Minke Meijnders
Dick Zandee
February 2016
The Future of Police Missions
Clingendael Report


The current security situation in the world, and specifically the zones of instability that surround and affect Europe, provide the Netherlands with many good reasons to contribute police capabilities to international crisis management missions. The EU, UN and OSCE struggle with both quantitative and qualitative personnel shortages when it comes to deploying police in missions. In qualitative terms, the increasing complexity of police mandates in missions, the multi-dimensional approach to security sector reform and other forms of crisis management and the shift of attention from observation and monitoring missions to mentoring, training, and capacity-building missions asks for high quality experts and senior leaders. NATO will continue to need police capabilities that can operate under a military command structure for the performance of its executive police duties, and, in exceptional cases, for urgent SSR tasks, in conflict situations where no other actors are present that can take up these tasks.

Providing that the efforts in creating stability are successful, police deployment in multilateral operations abroad can prevent or reduce future spill-over effects from the crises these operations address. With both the Royal Marechaussee and the Netherlands’ Police as donor organisations, the Netherlands has a broad and well developed policing toolkit that can in many ways meet, or adapt to, the demand of the IOs. In order to match the increasing demand for police contributions, increasing the contribution of NP and/ or KMar staff to multilateral operations should be taken into consideration. The study argues to focus these contributions on a set of niches that fits both the IOs’ demand and national (security) policy objectives. More specialisation can enhance the quality of deployed staff or teams, it can streamline the relative competency discussion between the KMar and NP and it would sharpen the profile of the Netherlands as a supplier of policing capabilities.

About the authors

Franca van der Laan is a Senior Research Fellow, seconded by the Dutch Police at Clingendael. She focuses on international police cooperation issues, transnational organised crime and terrorism.

Luc van de Goor is Director Research at the Clingendael Institute. He has a background in history and conflict studies and has researched issues concerning fragile states, in particular reform of the security sector, DDR (disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration), conflict prevention and early warning, and peacebuilding (including issues of governance and democracy assistance). He is currently working on Security and Justice for the United Nations.

Rob Hendriks LtCol Robert J. Hendriks EMSD is a Research and Training Fellow at Clingendael, on secondment from the Netherlands’ Armed Forces. His work encompasses the wide spectrum of security & defence topics, from the political/military strategic level down to the tactical level.

Jaïr van der Lijn is Head of the Peace Operations and Conflict Management Team at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Before joining SIPRI, he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute. He focuses his research on the different aspects of conflict resolution, such as peace operations, peace agreements, and the role of the United Nations.

Minke Meijnders is Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute. Her research is focusing on international security and defence. She is involved in scenario/futurebuilding studies, including the Clingendael Strategic Monitor, and projects on maritime security and peacekeeping missions.

Dick Zandee is Senior Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute. His research focuses on security and defence issues, including policies, defence capability development, research and technology, armaments cooperation and defence industrial aspects.

Cover photo

© KMar (Koninklijke Marechaussee)