The Dutch armed forces should focus orders for new equipment on the Netherlands, to both boost the economy and help national security, according to defence minister Ank Bijleveld.
The minister’s new procurement policy will be published later on Thursday and sets out parameters for an increase in spending by the armed forces after years of cuts.
The minister believes that giving priority to Dutch companies does not conflict with EU rules on tenders.
Even if an order has to be placed abroad, Dutch firms should be as involved as possible, broadcaster NOS quotes the minister as saying.
‘The security situation has worsened and Europe and the Netherlands have to stand on their own two feet,’ the minister said. ‘We have to be able to protect ourselves. That requires starting from a good level of expertise, technology and capacity.’