By Dr. Bob van den Bos, former Member of Parliament (First and Second Chambers) and former staff member of the Institute for International Relations Clingendael.
It is a great pleasure and honour indeed to write my first contribution to this new Diplomat Magazine. I would like to bring an important initiative to your attention: the establishment of The Hague Political Academy.
This initiative has been taken in order to meet the needs of diplomats in The Hague for a better understanding of Dutch society and politics.
The Academy starts this autumn with a high level course on Dutch politics and foreign policy for foreign diplomats, scheduled for October 21st until November 18st.
Five sessions will provide participants with a better understanding of Dutch society and the way in which politics works in public and behind the scenes. After an introduction to the historical background, attention will be paid to the governmental and opposition parties and their policies. Also the impact of the media on policymaking will be explained. Special focal points will be the Dutch foreign policy and the role played by the Netherlands in the European Union. At the end of the course the participants will visit the Dutch Parliament.
The lectures will enable participants to report with more authority on Dutch politics and to participate at a high level in discussions on Dutch domestic issues. As course supervisor I will draw on my extensive personal political experience as a Member of the national and European Parliament. Moreover, several distinguished guest speakers are invited to share their views with the participants: politicians, academics and journalists.
During and after the sessions there will be ample opportunity to maintain informal contacts with other participants. It is also possible to arrange specific sessions at your Embassy.