Event: Roosevelt Lecture, 2 April 2019

On Tuesday 2 April 2019, the US Ambassador to Netherlands Peter Hoekstra delivered the Spring Roosevelt Lecture on "The U.S. and the Netherlands: Building on 400 Years."

Peter Hoekstra

The relationship between the Netherlands and the United States builds on over over four centuries of interaction and collaboration. In his lecture, the US ambassador reflected upon the historical evolution of the Dutch-American relationship, and its current challenges in a complex and rapidly changing world.

Mr Hoekstra began by restating the values that remain at the core of the relationship: a common dedication to democracy, free speech, freedom of religion, and free trade. These were the claims set out in the American Declaration of Indepence - and which itself echoed the 'Plakkaat van Verlatinghe' issued by the Dutch estates two centuries earlier - and subsequently reiterated in President Franklin D. Roosevelt's 'Four Freedoms'.  Especially in a year like this, when we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands from Nazi occupation, it is worth recalling the ideas that continue to define the transatlantic alliance.

After a brief talk, the ambassador opened the floor to the audience, in what he himself described as a 'town hall' meeting, and spent the rest of his time answering questions on a wide array of issues, from his impressions of the Netherlands to more contentious issues like gun control, trade policy, and climate change. Throughout his talk, Mr Hoekstra made a careful distinction between diplomacy at the top, which can often be contentious, and the ties of trade, investment, and cultural exchange that form the deeper architecture of the transatlantic relationship.

More details on the lecture can be read here.

The lecture was recorded, and is available to listen at TXTRadio.