Netherlands holds consultations on new feminist foreign policy

In a letter, Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs Wopke Hoekstra responded to the Senate’s questions about the recent decision for the Netherlands to adopt a feminist foreign policy. Hoekstra reassured the Senate that broad internal and external consultations are underway to elaborate on the policy and to discuss the Senate’s questions.

The Senate’s Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Development Cooperation’s submitted a letter on June 24, 2022, to share insights and questions from faction members about the new policy. The letter reiterated that faction members were pleased with the decision to focus on a feminist foreign policy in the wake of worsening global gender equality.

The members posed several key questions including:

  • Which feminist principles will be adopted in the policy?
  • How will the policy ensure that ministries besides the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation are committed?
  • How will the policy promote coherence between different ministries in international policy as well as between national and international policy?
  • How will the Netherlands adopt a more active attitude within multilateral organizations?
  • Which budgets are earmarked for the development and implementation of the feminist foreign policy, how is sufficient capacity at the management level ensured, and how will the policy’s monitoring, evaluation, and accountability be designed and embedded?

Other questions arose concerning which stakeholders were part of the consultations, policy implementation dates, and if and when Senate members can expect to receive legislative proposals.

Hoekstra wrote that consultations on the new feminist foreign policy are being held with partners from civil society, businesses, science partners, and “the Global South”, without detailing specific stakeholders. The minister reassured the Senate the posed questions will be discussed in detail. Hoekstra also noted that he hopes the consultation process will be finalized in early 2023 and that both the Senate and the House of Representatives will be notified.

Letter to Senate – Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs (in Dutch)

Letter to Minister Hoekstra – Dutch Senate (in Dutch)