The Netherlands and Europe - South Africa
The Netherlands is your partner in European cooperation.
The Netherlands considers the EU’s core tasks to be promoting:
- safety and security
The Dutch Permanent Representation promotes the Netherlands’ interests in the EU. Its office in Brussels is staffed by civil servants from nearly all Dutch government ministries.
The Netherlands and the European Union
Over the years, the Netherlands has played a key role in the establishment of the European Union in its present form.
To ensure lasting peace and stability after the Second World War, France, West Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries establish the European Coal and Steel Community.
Agriculture commissioner Sicco Mansholt lays the foundations of the Common Agricultural Policy. The Netherlands has become one of the world’s largest agricultural exporters.
The member states sign the Single European Act in Luxembourg and The Hague, agreeing to complete the process creating a single market by 1992. The Act also establishes a framework for coordinating foreign policy.
The member states (now 12) sign the Maastricht Treaty, which forms the basis for the European Union as we know it today, including the European Monetary Union (EMU). Commissioner Hans van den Broek played a key role in bringing about the Maastricht Treaty.
During the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the member states sign the Treaty of Amsterdam. It simplifies decision-making in the EU and further elaborates the Common Foreign and Security Policy.
Commissioner Frits Bolkestein plays a key role in working to complete the single market. A well-functioning internal market with free movement of people, goods, services and capital is good for the Netherlands.
The euro is adopted as the common currency in accordance with the Maastricht Treaty. Wim Duisenberg becomes the first president of the European Central Bank.
Information for your country or region
For more information on this topic, contact the embassy or consulate.