Influentials Programme (IP)

Numbers & Costs

Each year there are about 17 influentials visits related to specific themes, organised by RVO.nl on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There is a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 10 participants. The programme is collective and therefore the same for all participants. The duration differs depending on the theme and goals of the visit but is in principle 3 days. All costs made in the Netherlands are covered by the Ministry of FA. The flight tickets are expected to be paid by the participants themselves (or by the embassy).

Objectives

In general, the programme serves to show what knowledge and expertise the Dutch have to offer in a specific sector or on a specific theme and to give a realistic and detailed insight into Holland’s various policy fields. The aim is to promote a positive image of the Netherlands and, in the case of sensitive political issues, to provide insight into the Dutch standpoint and context.

Process

A proposal for an influentials visit may in principle be submitted by embassies in 40 focus countries. The country list can be found further on in this booklet. If your embassy wishes to initiate an influentials visit, there is a standard proposal form to be filled out and submitted to the Ministry of FA and RVO.nl.
The selection of participants is done by the embassy, possibly in collaboration with the relevant regional or policy theme department. All participants must be highly qualified and motivated. They must have sufficient command of the English language. Furthermore, it will be beneficial to the quality of the programme if the theme and goals are clearly formulated, and a sharp focus is defined in the proposal. The theme of the visit must be connected to the long-term Public Diplomacy strategy of the embassy, guarantee the coherence of policy and as an incentive for a thorough follow-up. A visit is not incidental or an end in itself but is an instrument for realising long-term goals.

Timing

In order to create a workable year schedule for organising all incoming delegations, it is highly recommended to submit a proposal as soon as possible, but at least three months before the intended start of the visit. The Ministry of FA and RVO.nl together will discuss the submitted proposals and, after approval, a visit will be added to the year schedule and will be carried out by RVO.nl. Please notice that IP has become a very popular instrument in the last year.

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