Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Netherlands)

Netherlands

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken; BuZa) is the Dutch ministry of foreign affairs: it is occupied with the external relations of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, including European cooperation and International development. The current minister is Uri Rosenthal, he is aided by state secretary Ben Knapen.

Contents

Responsibilities

The Ministry building

The Ministry is responsible for the foreign policy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It has eight goals:

Organisation

Front of the building

The ministry consists out of the political leadership the two ministers and the state secretary, civil service in the Hague, the diplomatic missions and various independent agencies.

Ministry

The civil service consists out of the top level, the secretary general and his deputy and five directorates general, which manage several departements. The directorates general are led by Directors-General and are occupied with specific issues of foreign policy.

  • The Directorate-General for European Cooperation concerns itself with the European Union. It is responsible for Dutch relations with EU members and candidate countries. It also coordinates policy in other regional organizations like the Council of Europe, the OECD and the Benelux
  • The Directorate-General for Political Affairs is concerned with peace, security matters and human rights. This includes the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy and the political role of NATO and the United Nations.
  • The Directorate-General for International Cooperation is responsible for international development, including economic development, education, health and environment. It implements Dutch development policy within the United Nations and the World Bank and has strong contacts with non-governmental organizations like NOVIB.
  • The Directorate-General for Regional Policy and Consular Affairs coordinates the diplomatic missions. It also shapes the migration and cultural policies of the ministry.

Missions

The Netherlands has more than 150 missions. These missions promote the interest of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. They include:

  • 110 embassies
  • 27 consulates-general
  • 15 permanent representations at international organizations, such as the UN, the EU and NATO.
  • one embassy office (in Pristina, Serbia)
  • two representations: one to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and another in Afghanistan.

Independent agencies

The ministry has several different independent agencies:

  • Advisory Council on International Affairs, which adivises the ministry on foreign affairs.
  • Advisory Committee on Issues of Public International Law, which advises with international public law.
  • Netherlands Development Assistance Research Council, which advises the ministry on international development.
  • Government Committee on Private International Law, which advises with international private law.
  • Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries aids developing countries in selling their products and services in the European Union.
  • National Committee for International Cooperation and Sustainable Development, manages the funds for international development that are spent by civil society.

History

The Ministry was formed in 1813. Since 1965 a minister for international development has been appointed each formation (excluding in the first cabinet Balkenende) and since 1956 a state secretary for European Affairs has been appointed.

Ministers

Since the 1990s there have been three political leaders of the ministry of foreign affairs: the minister (called M), the minister without portfolio for international development (called R) and the state secretary for European affairs (called T). The state secretary of European Affairs has the right to call himself Minister of European Affairs outside of the Netherlands.

  • 2010-now Uri Rosenthal (VVD)
    • 2010-now Ben Knapen (CDA, state secretary for European affairs and international development)
  • 2007–2010 Maxime Verhagen (CDA)
    • 2007–2010 Bert Koenders (PvdA; minister for international development)
    • 2007–2010 Frans Timmermans (PvdA; state secretary for European affairs)
  • 2003-2007 Ben Bot (CDA)
    • 2003-2007 Agnes van Ardenne (CDA; minister for international development)
    • 2002-2006 Atzo Nicolai (VVD; state secretary for European affairs)
  • 2002-2003 Jaap de Hoop Scheffer (CDA)
    • 2002-2003 Agnes van Ardenne (CDA; state secretary for international development)
  • 1998-2002 Jozias van Aartsen (VVD)
    • 1998-2002 Eveline Herfkens (PvdA; minister for international development)
    • 1998-2002 Dick Benschop (PvdA; state secretary for European affairs)
  • 1994-1998 Hans van Mierlo (D66)
    • 1994-1998 Jan Pronk (PvdA; minister for international development)
    • 1994-1998 Michiel Patijn (VVD; state secretary for European Affairs)

See also

External links


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