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Netherlands: defense asked to save 600 million euros

Mark Rutte, the future Dutch Prime Minister (credit: VVD)

(BRUSSELS2) The government agreement concluded on Thursday in the Netherlands between the liberals of the VVD (who will have the post of Prime Minister), the Christian Democrats of the CDA and the populists of Geert Wilders' PVV (who will support the government without participating) contains a budget reduction component (1).

Maintaining the purchase of JSF

The Dutch Ministry of Defense is not exempt from this obligation but is not doing too badly. It will thus have to save 600 million euros in the next 4 years, 500 million on equipment, 100 million by reducing the organization. The purchase of the JSF aircraft is thus confirmed. The Netherlands will buy two test planes. But they should lower their order, which currently concerns 85 devices.

NB: The number of combat aircraft in the Netherlands will soon increase from 105 to 87 aircraft, including 14 aircraft used for training. This is the consequence of the sale of 18 “surplus” F-16s to Chile. This agreement concluded in 2006 will come into force these months. This sale explains the ministry will free up funds to purchase other equipment.

Peacekeeping missions paid from the development budget ?

Peacekeeping missions in developing countries will henceforth, as much as possible, be paid for from the development budget. A budget which should drop by 1 billion euros. Joint civil-military missions will be favored.

In addition, the new government wants to obtain a reduction in its contribution to the European Union by 1 billion euros. The Netherlands took the lead, during the last definition of the budgetary framework before 2007, of a “stingy club”, advocating a reduction in European budgets.

(1) This painfully concluded agreement, after more than 110 days of negotiation, is already causing a stir among the signatory parties and their counterparts in Europe. Read : Former EU counter-terrorism coordinator slams his party's door

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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