The Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV) is an independent body which advises the Dutch government and parliament on foreign policy. The AIV produces advisory reports about international affairs both on its own initiative and on request. Its main areas of expertise are European cooperation, human rights, development cooperation and security policy.

The Advisory Council focuses on strategic dilemmas and draws attention to new policy matters with a view to the longer term. Especially in this time of rapidly shifting international power relations, sweeping globalisation and far-reaching technological developments, there is a need for thorough analyses.

The AIV produces independent, carefully argued advisory reports that provide analysis and interpretation of current international developments and recommendations for Dutch foreign policy, and in this way contributes to political and public debate on matters of international significance.

Structure

The AIV consists of a chair and eight members. It is an umbrella organisation which includes four permanent committees. The members of the Council each serve as the chair or vice-chair of a permanent committee. These committees prepare the AIV’s advisory reports.

A shifting international landscape

The international landscape is amorphous and perplexing. The multilateral world order established after 1945 is in danger of losing its primary advocate. The US’s leadership role and position of power are in relative decline. In areas such as the economy, technology and security policy, China’s influence is growing. Russia is striving to restore its status as a global military power. The arc of instability around Europe is expanding, even as the European Union seems to be suffering a decline in its internal cohesion and capacity to act.

Internal and external security are becoming increasingly interwoven. More than ever before we need to adopt a common, inclusive approach in order to tackle issues such as climate change and the growing divide between rich and poor. The traditional anchors of Dutch foreign policy – the transatlantic partnership, European integration and respect for human rights – are under pressure.