The essay was commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. The authors would like to express their gratitude for the posing of such a timely and fundamental question. The ideas put forward in this essay are by no means only the authors’: they are the fruits of discussions the authors had with diplomats and policymakers at the Ministry and several external experts. Luuk van Middelaar, Mark Elchardus, Chris Donnelly, Nicolas de Pedro, Luetz Guellner and Tauno Tohk deserve special gratitude for contributing to these discussions, as do Frans-Paul van der Putten, Xiaoxue Martin, Vera Kranenburg, Nadia van de Weem and Maaike Okano-Heijmans. The flaws in this essay are those of the authors alone.