Expenditure on foreign policy dramatically down

16/09/2010 15:00

Last year, government expenditure on foreign policy amounted to 16 billion euro, a decrease by more than 9 percent relative to 2008. The decrease is mainly due to one-off, lower contributions to the European Union. Defence was the main expense in foreign policy ((8.7 billion euro). 

Government expenditure on foreign policy

Government expenditure on foreign policy

Lower contributions to Europe

In 2009, expenditure on foreign relations dropped by 2.3 billion euro. This is partly the result of lower contributions to the European Union over 2007 and 2008 to the amount of 2.1 billion euro. 

GNI contributions to the European Union

GNI contributions to the European Union

More spent on defence

Expenditure on defence-related activities and equipment rose by 0.4 billion euro in 2009. Half of the amount concerned increased investment by the Dutch navy in patrol boats and ammunition. Additionally, expenditure rose by 0.3 billion euro as a result of higher wage and maintenance costs, but air force investments in software for transport helicopters (-0.1 billion euro) were delayed.    

With a share of 1.56 percent, the Netherlands did not comply with the NATO target for 2009 to spend at least 2 percent of the gross national income (GNI) on defence.

Expenditure on defence

Expenditure on defence

Cost of the Afghanistan mission 1.6 billion euro

In 2009, the Netherlands spent 437 million euro on military aid abroad, nearly twice as much as in 2005. Three quarters went to the Dutch mission in Afghanistan. The basic costs of four years of military deployment in Afghanistan amount to 1.4 billion euro. Extension of the original mission by two years and early replacement of military equipment deployed in the ISAF operation account for another 0.2 billion euro.

Target development aid easily complied with

Dutch development aid totalled 4.6 billion euro, 0.8 percent of the GNI, which is above the UN target of 0.7 percent.

Fred Arkesteijn