Priority assessment of threats and risks: which issues require extra focus?

Intensified focus means the nature of the threat is such that extra and comprehensive attention – in an integrated fashion, albeit within the framework of the existing tasks and responsibilities – is paid to continually minimising all identified threats and risks and boosting resilience. The aforementioned intensified focus still requires further specification under the supervision of the line ministries involved.

Current developments concerning threats and risks show that the following security issues require an intensified approach:

Threats from state-sponsored actors will be addressed. This approach consists of generic measures to boost resilience against various types of threats from state-sponsored actors.

Polarisation can undermine our open society. To tackle polarisation, we will implement a broad and overarching approach focusing on the promotion of coexistence. Municipalities, civic organisation and the security chain will make an important contribution to this process.

Many threats and risks can result in disruption of critical infrastructure. To protect against these threats and risks, the government is implementing an intensified approach that will pool knowledge, skills and expertise in order to adequately address national security risks concerning the critical infrastructure.

The combating of terrorism and extremism continues to demand our attention. Reinforcing and intensifying our focus based on actual threat levels whenever and wherever necessary is vital. In addition, efforts will focus on applying the comprehensive approach against all forms of extremism – regardless of their ideological basis – in order to tackle 'new' threats as well.

The Netherlands can only combat military threats by means of effective collaboration and active international policy, e.g. via the EU, NATO, the OSCE and the UN. To maintain our status as a credible ally and partner, we will reinforce and further improve the combat power, sustainability and deployability of our armed forces.

The approach against subversive crime will focus on a broad package of measures as part of a coalition between the government, the business sector and society as a whole. In addition, an ambitious legislative agenda has been established that fully takes into account the practical wishes and preferences of frontline operators as well as constitutional principles. This will substantially boost the approach against subversive crime in collaboration with all of our partners in the field.

Threats and risks relating to cybersecurity and cyber threats will be comprehensively addressed by the government by means of the National Cybersecurity Agenda (NCA), brought into effect in April 2018.1 This has been formulated in a flexible manner to enable mitigation of the increasing levels of threats.