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The Handbook of European Defence Policies and Armed Forces$
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Hugo Meijer and Marco Wyss

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790501

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198790501.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2021

Benelux Countries

Benelux Countries

(p.247) 13 Benelux Countries
The Handbook of European Defence Policies and Armed Forces

Wim Klinkert

Oxford University Press

The defence policy of the Netherlands and Belgium has changed substantially following the end of the cold war. Both countries suspended conscription early on and actively participated in many (UN) peacekeeping missions. Both countries also experienced traumatic events that influenced their defence policy: in Ruanda for the Belgians in 1994 and in Bosnia (Srebrenica) for the Dutch (1995). Drastic budget cuts and the integration of the new, but small, professional armies within new NATO and EU defence structures (CSDP and NRF) are also themes with which both countries struggled. Both countries embraced pooling and sharing and cultivated European defence cooperation, especially within Benelux but also with Germany, the UK, and increasingly with other partners. Simultaneously they also attached much value to their ties with the USA. The Dutch furthermore attach great importance to the development of the international legal order and the safeguarding of the flow of trade by sea.

Keywords:   The Netherlands, Belgium, peacekeeping operations, Common Security and Defence Policy, NATO Response Force, pooling and sharing

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