Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations (Netherlands)

The Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations ("Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties"; BZK) is the Dutch ministry of home affairs. The current minister is Guusje ter Horst, she is aided by a state secretary Ank Bijleveld-Schouten.


The Ministry is called the "Mother of all Ministries" because most ministries, like the ministry of agriculture and ministry of Education, Culture and Science split from the ministry at one time or another or the "residual ministry", because it is left with a diverse set of responsibilities after this process. [ Neelen et al. (2003) "De bestuurlijk kaart van Nederland" p.63] It has the legal mission to:
* uphold the Constitution of the Netherlands;
* guarantee the democratic rule of law;
* ensure an effective and efficient public administration, including lower governments, the municipalites, provinces and water boards;
* promote public order and safety and provide centralised management of the country's police forces;
* promote the quality of the civil service and coordinate management and personnel policy for all civil servants;
* coordinate cooperation within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, namely with Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles.

Because it shares so many responsibilities and the same building with the ministry of Justice, they are sometimes called the twin ministries.


The ministry is currently headed by one ministers and one state secretary. It employes almost 3,000 civil servants. The ministry's main office is located in the centre of the Hague in the same building as the ministry of Justice. The civil service is headed by a secretary general and a vice-secretary general, who head a system of four directorates general:
* The Directorat General for Public Administration
* The Directorat General for Public Order and Safety
* The Directorat General for Management and Personnel Policy
* The Directorat General for Constitutional Affairs and Kingdom Relations.

An important autonomous agency of the ministry is the Dutch Secret Service.


The ministry was founded in 1798 as the department for internal policy and supervision on the state of water works in Batavian Republic. Since 1801 it has been named Ministry of Home Affairs and some other responsibilities have been added to its name, Agriculture (1922-1932) and Kingdom Relations (1998-now). Between 1959 and 1998 a minister was given the portfolio of relations with Surinam, the Dutch Antilles and Aruba in addition to his other portfolios before that, there was a minister of Colonial Affairs, which was called Overseas Affairs after 1945.


Since 1989 the following politicians have been minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations
*2007-now Guusje ter Horst (PvdA)
**2007-now Ank Bijleveld-Schouten (CDA)
* 2003-2007 Johan Remkes (VVD)
* 2006-2007 Atzo Nicolai (VVD; minister without portfolio for government reform and kingdom relations)
* 2005-2006 Alexander Pechtold (D'66; minister without portfolio for government reform and kingdom relations)
* 2003-2005 Thom de Graaf (D'66; minister without portfolio for government reform and kingdom relations)
* 2002-2003 Johan Remkes (VVD)
** 2002-2003 Rob Hessing (LPF; state secretary)
* 2000-2002 Klaas de Vries (PvdA)
* 1998-2000 Bram Peper (PvdA)
* 1998-2002 Roger van Boxtel (PvdA; minister without porfolio for large cities and integration)
**1998-2002 Gijs de Vries (VVD; state secretary)
* 1994-1998 Hans Dijkstal (VVD)
**1994-1998 Jacob Kohnstamm (D66; state secretary)
**1994-1998 Tonny van de Vondervoort (PvdA; state secretary)
* 1994 Ed van Thijn (PvdA)
* 1989-1994 Ien Dales (PvdA)
**1989-1994 Dieuwke de Graaff-Nauta (CDA; state secretary)


External links

* [ Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations]

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