Politicians are serious about ensuring peace and security. This is evident from the Defence White Paper 2022, which the NIDV welcomes. The NATO standard of 2% GNP will be met, allowing the Ministry of Defence and its partners to fulfil their constitutional tasks: not a goal in itself, but a financial minimum for peace and security. Thus, security professionals not only get the money but also the means to do their job. More than ever, the Ministry of Defence seeks cooperation with the industry, society, and Europe. The defence and security sector with its companies and knowledge institutions is ready to take up the gauntlet. The challenges are great, but the government is not alone. (Photo credits: Defensie.nl)
Technical and industrial base
For certain needs, the Ministry of Defence will have to look across the border, but for many challenges in the Defence White Paper, the Netherlands has solutions ready, such as the Dutch Defence Technological and Industrial Base. The Netherlands stands out worldwide in naval construction, aviation, space travel, and sensor technology, but we also have high-quality knowledge of ground-based and medical technology. While no end-products can be built within our borders, Dutch companies are perfectly placed to link up with foreign end-producers.
Cooperating for the goal
Cooperation with the business community and knowledge institutes remains essential and the Ministry of Defence offers tools for this. The measures from the 2018 Defence Industry Strategy will be further “worked out and implemented”, which is excellent news. We also see good steps for the future: ” The Ministry of Defence is working on an implementation agenda to bring focus and concreteness to the Strategic Knowledge and Innovation Agenda of 2021-2025.” In addition, the NIDV is still arguing for a defence-wide provision to fund market creation and launching customership.
Europe and the sector
Cooperation in NATO and the EU is a good thing. As a sector, we are happy to contribute to it, for example, through European Defence Fund projects or in responses to joint tenders. The fact that the Netherlands is strengthening cofinancing for European capability development is particularly noteworthy. The Defence White Paper is complemented here by the European Summit held on the31st of May. It demonstrated how the EU wants to strengthen and complement NATO, namely through joint procurement, but also by strengthening the European defence and security sector with all companies that can play a role in this. The fact that the European Council wants the European Investment Bank to play a clear role in financing the defence and security industry in Europe is an advantage. Security concerns us all, including the banks.
Together with the Ministry of Defence, the NIDV companies are working hard to help implement the 2022 White Paper. The NIDV wishes all those involved in its implementation every success.