Ministry of General Affairs (Netherlands)

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Ministry of General Affairs
Ministerie van Algemene Zaken
Royal coat of arms of the Netherlands.svg
Coat of arms of the Netherlands
Ministerie Algemene Zaken - Binnenhof.JPG
Building of the Ministry of General Affairs
Department overview
Formed 3 July 1937; 80 years ago (1937-07-03)
Jurisdiction Kingdom of the Netherlands
Headquarters Binnenhof 19, The Hague, Netherlands
Employees 400
Annual budget €1,7 million (2015)[1]
Minister responsible
Website Ministry of General Affairs

The Ministry of General Affairs (Dutch: Ministerie van Algemene Zaken; AZ) is the Dutch ministry responsible for Government policy, planning, information and the Dutch royal house. The Ministry was created in 1937 and dissolved in 1945, but in 1947 it was reinstated by Prime Minister Louis Beel, the Ministry remained small until 1967, when it was greatly expanded by Prime Minister Piet de Jong. Since his premiership the Ministry has continued to expand to the present day.

The Ministry is headed by the Minister of General Affairs, who is also the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, currently Mark Rutte.

Azure, billetty Or a lion with a coronet Or armed and langued Gules holding in his dexter paw a sword Argent hilted Or and in the sinister paw seven arrows Argent pointed and bound together Or. [The seven arrows stand for the seven provinces of the Union of Utrecht.] The shield is crowned with the (Dutch) royal crown and supported by two lions Or armed and langued gules. They stand on a scroll Azure with the text (Or) "Je Maintiendrai" (French for "I will maintain".)
This article is part of a series on the
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The Ministry is comparable to the German Chancellery, the British Cabinet Office or the U.S. Executive Office of the President, but its designation as a Ministry emphasises the role of Prime Minister of the Netherlands as primus inter pares among the ministers of the government.

The Ministry has three responsibilities: coordination of government policy, the Dutch Royal House, and government communications about the royal house and government policy, the Ministry also houses the Secretariat of the Cabinet of the Netherlands.

The main offices of the Ministry are located in the Binnenhof, the political centre of the Netherlands, with only about 400 employees, it is by far the smallest Ministry in the Netherlands.

The most important divisions of the Ministry of General Affairs are:

The following are also parts of the Ministry, but operate with a degree of autonomy:

  • The Scientific Council for Government Policy (Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid or WRR);
  • The Commission of Dutch Intelligence Services (Commissie van Toezicht op de Inlichtingen en Veiligheidsdiensten).

List of Ministers of General Affairs[edit]

For a list of the Ministers of General Affairs, see List of Prime Ministers of the Netherlands.


  1. ^ (in Dutch) III Algemene zaken, Rijksoverheid, 25 juni 2015

External links[edit]