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Dutch Fear Cyberattack on Critical Infrastructure Than Islamic Terrorist, Survey

According to the latest release of the Clingendael Institute’s foreign affairs barometer, a cyberattack targeting critical infrastructure like energy provision or banking services ranks as the primary concern among the Dutch populace.

This annual study assesses the perceived threats and sources of optimism within the international landscape as perceived by the Dutch population. The findings indicate that the Dutch are particularly apprehensive about threats that could directly impact their community, with expectations that these events could transpire within the next five years, including the threat of war.

Islamic Terrorist Attack, Second on Dutch Fear List

Following a cyberattack, the second major concern revolves around foreign government interference with immigrant communities in the Netherlands, followed closely by the prospect of an Islamic terrorist attack.

While migration-related issues garner significant attention in the threat assessment, concerns such as protectionism and potential estrangement from China got very low ratings. Similarly, despite a substantial portion of the population anticipating a surge in anti-Muslim sentiments, they do not regard it as a significant threat.

Furthermore, there is a perceptible shift in attitudes towards climate change, with a growing emphasis on adaptation strategies rather than solely focusing on halting temperature increases. The report highlights the Dutch belief in the positive impact of targeted investments in climate adaptation, foreseeing substantial progress in this realm within the next five years, while efforts towards climate mitigation rank lower in terms of priorities.

On a positive note, increased resilience against cyber attacks, Sweden’s potential accession to the EU, and advancements in modern manufacturing, particularly in microchip production, are viewed as promising prospects for the future.

Monika Sie Dhian Ho, Director of Clingendael, observes a significant level of optimism across various policy domains, with a particular emphasis on the importance of international alliances in bolstering public safety, including potential expansions of NATO and collaboration with Sweden to combat transnational drug-related crime.

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