Thank you to Matthijs R. Koot for a heads up on this action!
As we can see, the countries of “the West” are all doing the similar things and standing up to Russia. Russia is going to growl, seeking to portray a bear.
We are seeing a unified approach to countering this problem, resisting Russian interference. Russia is causing this resistance and Russia can only blame themselves. Of course, they’re going to deny, deny, deny, and blame Western provocations, but when the preponderance of evidence shows Russian continued and blatant efforts to interfere, the case against Russia grows stronger.
Unwanted foreign interference touches the foundation of the Dutch democratic legal order and our open society and is therefore completely undesirable. Also because this interference can lead to tensions between population groups in the Netherlands. This is what Minister Grapperhaus of Justice and Security and Minister Ollongren of the Interior and Kingdom Relations say in a letter to the Lower House about this phenomenon.
Intervention can take place in different ways. Countries such as Russia use vulnerabilities of open and democratic societies for stealthy political influence, for example through the dissemination of disinformation. There are also countries that focus on their diasporas for domestic political purposes, with tensions in the Netherlands as a possible consequence. Such as happened in the intimidation of Dutch Eritreans. The financing of certain religious institutions from the Gulf States can also be undesirable.
The stopping and prevention of unwanted foreign interference goes in several ways. By obtaining a good information position, national and international cooperation and increasing resilience in the Netherlands. This is done continuously through, among other things, the work of the intelligence and security services, through diplomatic channels and investments in the resilience of elections and government organizations.
In addition, the Cabinet is conducting a number of explorations at this moment. For example, measures will soon be presented to limit the financing of Dutch political parties from abroad. The Cabinet is also exploring the possibilities of increasing the transparency of money flows to social and religious organizations. The Ministry of the Interior also looks at whether local administrators can do enough to suspect unwanted foreign interference. Such as by providing information and training to raise awareness on this theme.