Dutch Design during the EU Presidency

Formal meetings of European ministers will take place in Brussels and Luxembourg during the Dutch Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the European Union (1 January to 30 June 2016). However, the Netherlands will also host a large number of meetings.

The National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam will be the venue for ministerial meetings. Meetings of high-level officials will take place at the former naval yard next to the museum, the site of the Europe building, a temporary structure that has been constructed and equipped for high-level meetings organised by all ministries.

Scheepvaartmuseum Amsterdam, locatie voor het EU-voorzitterschap
National Maritime Museum, Amsterdam, venue for ministerial meetings
Het Europagebouw
The Europe building

Europe building interior

The Europe building is a temporary structure built by Dutch company Neptunus. It will be the venue for international meetings every day – 135 in total, attended by 17,500 delegates – during the six-month Dutch Presidency. The building is both attractive and functional. Facilities have also been provided for the press.

The entrance is constructed partly of 3D-printed material designed by DUS Architects. The interior design is by Studio Edward van Vliet. Based on the theme of ‘exploring’, it links innovation with the history represented by the museum.

Drinking water and art

The design and fittings of the building are as sustainable as possible. There are drinking water taps to prevent the use of water bottles and to demonstrate the excellent quality of Dutch tapwater. Solar panels have been installed on the buildings and the furnishings will be reused as much as possible in public sector buildings. Certain jobs will be entrusted to long-term unemployed people, giving them a chance to gain work experience.

Two display cases in the lobby will contain 17th-century porcelain on loan from the Cultural Heritage Agency’s collection. Contemporary glass by Copier and Sipek will be displayed among old glass objects.

In de galerij van Nederlandse fotografen: Marie Cécile Thijs
From the Dutch photographers gallery: Marie Cécile Thijs


It is customary for delegates attending meetings in the country holding the Presidency to be given a souvenir. The gifts for delegation leaders and ministers, which include glasses, a candle holder and a tablecloth – contemporary reworkings of traditional Dutch handicrafts – have been designed by Studio Roderick Vos. The designer used traditional and modern production techniques, a typical feature of Dutch Design. Members of delegations will receive small candle holders, chocolates or biscuit tins.

Inrichting Europagebouw: Delfts Blauwe vloerbedekking
Europe building interior: flooring with a Delftware motif