Forming Coalitions in the EU after Brexit: Alliances for a European Union that Modernises and Protects

The United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union has forced the Netherlands to reorient itself. In addition the Brexit process coincides with major changes both within and beyond Europe that require a capacity to act jointly: the EU needs to be more than just a market; it must offer protection in areas such as security, migration and climate change. Given these two parallel developments the Netherlands needs to make an active commitment, working with new partners.

The AIV concludes that it is advisable for the Netherlands to take a leadership role, working with other smaller, like-minded countries, such as its Benelux partners and the Nordic and Baltic states. However, this will not be enough to command a majority. Therefore, in the interest of a more effective Union, the Netherlands must also work more closely with large member states such as Spain and Italy, and play a mediating role with regard to German-French proposals.