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The Netherlands and feminist foreign policy: opportunities for progress

Photo: Ministers Wopke Hoekstra and Liesje Schreinemacher, Wikimedia Commons In 2014, Sweden became the first country in the world to implement feminist foreign policy (FBB). Several countries followed, and on 13 May 2022, Minister Wopke Hoekstra (CDA) and Minister Liesje Schreinemacher (VVD), also announced that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was going to explicitly commit [...]

21 March FMS Political Café: Turkey and Syria after the earthquake

It is now just over a month since a devastating earthquake hit parts of Turkey and Syria. Immediately after the news of the disaster, major initiatives were launched. For instance, people collected clothes en masse and in came a nationwide Giro555 action that raised a lot of money. Still today, many organisations such as [...]

One year after the start of the invasion: life of Ukrainians in the Netherlands

Oekraïense vlag bij een kerk in het Gelderse Velp. Bron:

Friday, February 24, marks one year since Russian President Putin announced the invasion of Ukraine. Due to the intense and sustained bombing and fighting, many Ukrainians have had to flee the country. About 90,000 Ukrainians have fled to the Netherlands. FMS interviewed Yana (29) - who lives with her family in Leusden - and [...]

FMS Political Café: Passion and unity on 'revolutionary situation' in Iran

People are still taking to the streets en masse in Iran for the biggest Iranian protests since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The FMS organised a political café about this on 2 February. With a passionate and engaged audience, experts, politicians and representatives of the Iranian diaspora stressed the importance of continued support for the [...]

Shared interests, but no mutual benefit

Imagine... someone close to you is committed to preventing animal suffering and stops eating meat, but buys a new fur coat every month. Or someone you know is campaigning worldwide for better climate plans, but does fly all over the world every week to do so. Probably you and I would react with surprise. We would explain that their actions contribute to the problem they are trying to solve. Whereas this incoherence is immediately noticeable in our immediate environment, outside it is far from always the case. For instance, incoherence within the Netherlands' Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation (BHOS) policy has been the most normal thing in the Netherlands for years.

Saving democracy also requires action at home

On 9 and 10 December, US President Biden will hold his Summit for Democracy. It is good that Biden is drawing full attention to the democratic rule of law. After all, it is under pressure worldwide. The Netherlands is attending and our outgoing prime minister is expected to contribute. This offers our country a unique platform to stand up for democratic rights worldwide. As representatives of civil society organisations, we make a number of suggestions in this open letter.

Policy coherence: Still not a central part of the 2022 state budget

Last Tuesday was Budget Day, the day when the Cabinet traditionally presents the budget for the next year. Due to its caretaker status, the Cabinet was forced to present a policy-poor budget. This was not only reflected in the speech from the throne full of hollow words, but also reflected in the budget for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation (BHOS), where the 0.7% norm, the spending of 0.7% of GNI on development cooperation, is once again not met and remains stuck at 0.53%.

Letter to the informateur: International solidarity in the coalition agreement

The Hague, 23 June 2021

The corona crisis has once again demonstrated our global dependency. This calls for our solidarity. We must now commit to a sustainable global recovery. That means tackling growing inequality with the aim of a better future for future generations. This requires ambitious international policies. OS has a crucial role in tackling climate change and promoting democracy, human rights and fair trade systems. The UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) guide this nationally and internationally.

Critical SDG Spotlight report 'Beyond Boundlessness' well received

On 1 March, the (online) launch of the first Dutch SDG Spotlight report took place. In it, Dutch policy on SDG 10 (reduce inequality) and SDG 15 (life on land, biodiversity) are critically scrutinised. The results are downright uncomfortable. The frame that the Netherlands is 'doing well' with the SDGs is not correct.