The Netherlands as host country for international organisations

The Netherlands is proud to host almost 40 intergovernmental organisations. Most of them are based in The Hague, known as the city of peace and justice because it is home to many organisations working in that field.

Article 90 of the Dutch constitution states: ‘The Government shall promote the development of the international legal order.’ One of the ways the Netherlands does this is to be a good host country for international organisations.

Attractive business climate in the Netherlands

The Netherlands offers an attractive climate for doing business. Staff of international organisations say:

  • quality of life is good in the Netherlands;
  • they are satisfied with the accommodation arranged by their international organisation;
  • the Dutch government provides them with good support.


  • they appreciate the presence of other international organisations;
  • the standard of international education is high;
  • 90% of Dutch people speak English.

The Netherlands as the Gateway to Europe

The Netherlands is a safe country with good facilities in terms of:

  • healthcare;
  • public transport;
  • IT infrastructure.

Schiphol Airport, the Port of Rotterdam and the road, railway and broadband networks are world class. That is why the Netherlands is called the Gateway to Europe. The favourable business climate makes the Netherlands an attractive destination for businesses and NGOs as well as for international organisations.

International organisations in the Netherlands

Traditionally, international organisations in the Netherlands have focused primarily on peace and justice. In recent decades many other international organisations have also made the move to the Netherlands. These include organisations active in the field of safety and security, and organisations working in Dutch top sectors such as life sciences & health, agri-food and chemicals.

The oldest international organisations active in the field of peace and justice are:

  • the Permanent Court of Arbitration (established in 1899);
  • the Hague Conference on Private International Law (meeting since 1893, international organisation since 1955);
  • the International Court of Justice (established in 1945).

Examples of international organisations working in the area of safety and security are:

  • the NATO Allied Joint Force Command (JFC Brunssum);
  • the NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control (NAEW&C) Programme; NAEW&C Programme Management Agency (NAPMA);]
  • the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Organisations working in the Dutch top sectors include:

  • the European Medicines Agency (EMA);
  • the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA);
  • the European Space Agency/European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESA/ESTEC).