For well over a century, the Dutch, with their overseas empire, managed to stay aloof from the machinations of intra-European fighting. However, the beginning of the Cold War found them persuaded by Britain and the US to break with their independent past, and fit into the emerging Western security system. 'From Neutrality to Commitment' sheds light on European defence, foreign and economic policy during a defining period, from a previously neglected angle. The aftermath of Dutch collaboration with the Nazi occupiers is covered, as is the fact that the Germans allowed a known Jew to head the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the whole wartime occupation. Vital landmarks such as the Marshall Plan, Brussels Treaty Organisation, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, Council of Europe, and the Schuman and Plven Plans are treated dispassionately but incisively, as are Dutch claims on large parts of German territory, and the resultant German reaction. Dutch respect for money and morals is looked at, and how they were torn between an Atlanticist and European mentality, plumping in the end for the Monet and Schuman vision, but not without some soul-searching. This book will be a great help in understanding how Europe recovered from World War II, and then fell into the Cold War. It also offers many collateral benefits: not only will one understand the motivations of Dutch foreign policy, butwill provide insight into, and a deeper understanding of, Britain's sometimes tumultuous relationship with the EU today, and of the current tension between the promoters of independent EU defence on the one hand, and those pushing for Nato-US-British hegemony, on the other.
From Neutrality to Commitment
Dutch Foreign Policy, NATO and European Integration