Please follow the summary of the article first published at  Tomsk State University Journal. History. 2012, No 1 (17), P. 122-125

O.Yu.Smolenchuk. Tomsk State University.


The article examines the evolution of the Dutch foreign policy after the Second World War within the Europeanism and Atlanticism based on American and West European historical and political researches. The scientific originality is explained by the insufficient study of this subject in Russia. The Netherlands, as a «small country», can act as a «middle state power» regarding its power and influence, on which future decisions will depend. The paper also briefly defines three main features of the Dutch foreign policy given by the Dutch professor and politician Voorhoeve J. We can point out such as maritime mercantilism, neutralist abstentionism and internationalist idealism which are considered the priority principles before the Second World War. The post-war foreign policy of the Netherlands acquires three new constants of the development which include: 1) adherence of transatlantic interests in terms of foreign and security policy; 2) support for supranationalism regarding the European integration; 3) a traditional priority of economic integration over political one. During different post-war periods the Netherlands foreign policy changed its direction, and it had Europeanism or Atlanticism attitudes. The Dutch commitment to Atlanticism can be explained: firstly, the United States assistance in the Netherlands liberation from Nazi Germany in 1945, secondly, economic help concerning the Marshall plan, thirdly, the Dutch joining to NATO under the American supervision in 1949. In this case some researchers speak about so-called «aloofness in dependence» meaning that the Netherlands, participating in the Western block where the one state takes a leader’s position, are allowed to support «its own neutrality» in new conditions, and there is no necessity to develop its own «ambitious foreign policy». If we discuss Europeanism attitude, it is necessary to point out a question on supranational institutes in European structures. In the first turn, it concerned a disagreement one or some «big» states (first of all, France and Germany) to dominate, as well as the importance of transatlantic cooperation within the common foreign and security policy. The key moment for the Netherlands is also economic cooperation, especially during the first periods of economic integration in Europe, when the Netherlands were considered as a recipient-country. Thus, in the time after the Second World War the Netherlands being a «small power state» became an important actor in the European integration and transatlantic partnership. However, the Dutch independency and so-called «aloofness in dependence» from other countries did not play into the hands of the Netherlands themselves.

Key words: the Netherlands foreign policy; Europeanism; Antlanticism.

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