2013 is the Netherlands-Russia year, a year in which the Netherlands and Russia emphasize their long bilateral relations. The Netherlands will offer an ambitious programme in Russia with a variety of economic, cultural and societal activities during the second half of 2013.
In 2009 the Netherlands accepted Russia’s invitation to make 2013 a Russian-Dutch Bilateral Year that would highlight the two nations’ broad, longstanding cooperation and focus on creating an innovative partnership in the
present and future. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs has agreed with its Russian partners that the Bilateral Year will be broadly themed, with the emphasis on economic partnership. Indeed, Russia offers particularly good prospects for the Netherlands’ key business sectors.
Besides trade and investment relations, 2013 also provides scope for cooperation on political and social projects and initiatives, including joint ventures involving the legal system, education, science and sport, and relations between municipal and provincial authorities. After all, economic relations do not stand alone; they are a vital part of any wellfunctioning, open society governed by the rule of law. An ambitious cultural programme is also in preparation, centring on the best that Russian and Dutch culture have to offer. During the bilateral year the Netherlands aims to enhance Russia’s efforts to achieve social and economic reform, making optimal use of dialogue at political level, even when there are differences of opinion.
The Dutch-Russian Bilateral Year: NLRF2013
The programme is built around three key themes: Economy, Culture and Politics & Civil Society. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs will work with other ministries and the Centre for International Cultural Activities (SICA) to set up a broad, representative programme in Russia, mainly during the latter half of 2013. The Russian programme in the Netherlands will take place in the first half of 2013 and will be coordinated by the Russian government. The Dutch activities will be programmed around various ‘key moments’, linked to visits and missions to Russia headed by Dutch ministers, sometimes possibly including members of the Royal Family. Economic, cultural and social
initiatives will be programmed as much as possible around these key events. Municipal and provincial officials will be invited to organise activities linked to these events. In this way, all parties can jointly attract maximum attention and publicity in Russia.