Worldwide, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has some 150 embassies,
consulates-general and permanent representations to international organisations.
It also has 345 honorary consulates, with limited powers. All of these represent
the Netherlands. Together, they are called ‘missions’.
The missions are the eyes, ears, and voice of the Netherlands. The staff of the embassies and consulates promote Dutch interests and assist Dutch nationals living or travelling abroad.
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.
What do the embassies and consulates do?
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs promotes Dutch interests abroad. To help it
do so, it has a worldwide network of embassies, consulates and permanent
representations to international organisations. The activities, makeup and size
of each mission depend on its host country and region.
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.