Diplomatic missions of the Kingdom of the Netherlands abroad
Worldwide, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands has some 150 embassies, and consulates-general. It also has 345 honorary consulates, with limited powers. All of these represent the Netherlands. Together, they are called ‘missions’.
Embassies are also active in development cooperation, cultural affairs and media relations.
Consulates are subordinate to embassies and carry out more practical, routine tasks. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague coordinates the activities of the mission network.
Embassies and consulates – bilateral missions – concern themselves with relations between the Netherlands and other countries. Their main areas of activity are:
- political affairs;
- economic affairs;
- development cooperation;
- consular affairs;
- press and cultural affairs.
Embassies operate in all these areas, whereas consulates only deal with economic and consular affairs and, on occasion, press and cultural affairs.
The embassies monitor and analyse domestic and foreign political developments in their host country. They report to The Hague about local developments likely to affect the Netherlands. The embassies also work in the host country to increase knowledge about the Netherlands and understanding of Dutch viewpoints.
The embassies and consulates promote economic and trade relations between the Netherlands and other countries. In doing so, they help the Netherlands become more competitive. They also analyse developments in the host country’s economy, and they report to The Hague about the local investment climate, trade and economic policies, and trends in markets of potential interest to Dutch exporters.
In countries receiving aid, the embassies play an important part in selecting and implementing development projects. They help formulate a general approach, and they have the contacts to deploy local expertise and human resources.
Consular affairs involve protecting and promoting the interests of Dutch nationals abroad, whether they live there or are there temporarily for business or pleasure. The embassies and consulates issue passports and emergency documents, deal with visa applications and legalise documents. When Dutch nationals run into difficulties abroad, the embassy or consulate can provide assistance.
Press and cultural affairs
Embassies and consulates promote cultural cooperation with the host country and provide information about the Netherlands. The embassies maintain contact with the media in order to ensure that events in the Netherlands and Dutch policy are reported fairly and accurately in the local media.