The Dutch military is currently experiencing a large staff shortage and aims to appoint more people from abroad and in particular people from South Africa.
The Dutch Security Coalition, which consists of Dutch trade unions and organizations in the security sector, today sent a letter to Parliament to address this issue.
Dutch media platform RTL News reports that last month the Dutch political party Democrats 66 made the proposal to recruit people in Europe as soldiers for the Dutch army. However, this is still not legally possible because someone of Dutch origin must be able to serve as a soldier in the Dutch army.
The Dutch Defense Department called on the House of Representatives in Parliament to consider the appointment of people within the European Union. The department’s main focus is to appoint more women.
According to the report in RTL News, the coalition believes they will struggle to hire extra staff from Europe because the other European countries are also experiencing a staff shortage. “It will be better to focus on countries outside the European Union, such as South Africa, Suriname, and Aruba, which are already linked to the Netherlands,” the report says.
European countries such as Britain, Belgium, and France do employ foreigners as soldiers.
According to Marc de Natris, chairman of one of the security organizations, the Dutch security sector will need tens of thousands of staff in the coming years. “The Department of Defense needs 3 500 to 4 000 young people annually. There are already 9,000 vacancies that need to be filled, ”says Natris.
A total of 1,500 South African candidates have already indicated their interest on social media.