Dutch Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld-Schouten and her German colleague Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Berlin on Oct. 2 about cooperating on systems to detect radio signals.
This took place during a meeting between the Dutch and German governments, led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Chancellor Angela Merkel. In addition to Bijleveld, five Dutch ministers and three state secretaries traveled with them. The so-called German-Dutch government consultation takes place about once every three years, but has never been as large as this year.
International cooperation in the field of detecting radio signals is far from self-evident. The fact that the Netherlands and Germany are working together in this field is a sign of mutual trust.
Security was one of the most important discussion topics. Both governments were broadly represented, including the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, and Economic Affairs and Climate. This offered the opportunity to discuss security in the broadest sense of the word.
Digitization and climate
Digitization and climate were other main themes that touch on security and vulnerability. Governments spoke extensively about digitization. The trick here is to find the right balance between innovation, security and protection of privacy. In addition, the climate was prominent in the discussions between the ministers. Bijleveld emphasized that the Ministry of Defense also has an important role to play here, as climate change affects where and how soldiers should act.
Minister Bijleveld expressed enthusiasm about discussing major issues with several ministers. She suggested doing this more often in an international context. In this way, steps can be taken together in the interest of our peace, security and prosperity.