Senior diplomat says the Netherlands is too passive on foreign affairs
Friday 07 September 2012
The Netherlands is losing face internationally because of its passive approach to foreign affairs and mixed messages on Europe, a senior diplomat claims in Friday’s NRC.
Pieter Feith, who stands down as the ICO representative in Kosovo this weekend, told the paper the Netherlands has ‘fallen behind’ in diplomatic circles.
‘Foreign affairs minister Uri Rosenthal says the Netherlands does not want to be the EU’s pet. But in that case, you have to be active yourself. You have to come up with ideas and take initiatives, you have to have a presence.’ Feith said. ‘
Take Sweden, which is professional and serious,' he continued. 'I think the Netherlands has fallen behind in terms of diplomacy.'
‘Internationally, people ask what the Netherlands actually wants,’ the NRC quoted Feith as saying. ‘With Greece, the euro, Serbia. You can no longer count on 100% consistency in our policy. Every country changes course on occasion but our country is heading off at top speed in lots of different directions.’
The ICO is an international body which supports Kosovo's efforts to become independent within Europe.
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