A Conversation on Dutch Foreign Policy
Ambassador Renée Jones-Bos of the Netherlands
Photos | Transcript 

Ambassador Meera Shankar Washington, DCOn December 6, 2010, Ambassador Renee Jones-Bos of the Netherlands addressed WFPG at her residence on Dutch foreign policy priorities and the bilateral relationship between the US and the Netherlands. During the discussion, Ambassador Jones-Bos was joined by Dutch Member of Parliament Henk Jan Ormel, Foreign Affairs Spokesman for the Christian Democratic Alliance.

The Ambassador spoke about the importance of the US-Netherlands relationship, and how crucial the partnership is, noting that the Netherlands is the US’ third largest investor and seventh largest trading partner.

In discussing the long-term driving forces which still shape Dutch foreign policy, the Ambassador cited dedication to “an outward looking economy and a tradition of tolerance and justice,” which she stressed are not mutually exclusive but rather mutually reinforcing. She also described changes in the last two decades that have had a profound impact on her country’s foreign policy, which include two major political assassinations, the rejection of the EU Constitution despite being one of the founding members of the EU, the significant influx of refugees particularly from Turkey and Morocco, a greatly changed Dutch electoral landscape, and the global financial crisis.

Ambassador Jones-Bos explained how these factors are incorporated into the foreign policy vision of the new Dutch government, a minority government in power since October 14th. This new government affirmed a sustained commitment to international engagement, international law, and human rights, and plans to continue pursuing multilateral economic activities, development cooperation projects, and peace and security collaborations. The Ambassador outlined her country’s National Action Plan on UN Resolution 1325, which stresses the importance of protecting women during times of war and incorporating them in peace processes.

During the Q&A, Ambassador Jones-Bos and MP Henk Jan Ormel answered questions on a wide variety of issues including the Dutch participation in Afghanistan, the impact of immigration on the Netherlands, and how the Nether-lands was affected by the EU bailouts of Greece and Ireland. The Ambassador also reflected on the changing nature of diplomacy in an in an increasingly interconnected world.


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Ambassador Jone-Bos addressing WFPG guests

  Dutch Member of Parliament and Foreign Affairs
Spokesman for Christian Democratic Alliance
Henk Jan Ormel with WFPG President Patricia Ellis

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Patricia Ellis, Ambassador Jones-Bos, and Henk Ormel

  Ambassador Jones-Bos discusses Dutch Foreign Policy

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Former US Ambassador to the Netherlands, Cynthia
Schneider, asking a question

  Patricia Ellis moderating the Q&A 

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Ambassador Jones-Bos presents a gift to
Patricia Ellis in celebration of her birthday

  Ambassador Jones-Bos with WFPG Board
Member Isabel Jasinowski

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Ambassador Jones-Bos greets WFPG Board Member
Dawn Calabia and her husband Tino Calabia

  WFPG Board Member Theresa Loar and
guests with Ambassador Jones-Bos

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Ambassador Jones-Bos speaking with
Canadian Embassy DCM Deborah Lyons

  Ambassador Jones-Bos with guests from Raytheon