Ministry of General Affairs (Netherlands)

Ministry of General Affairs (Netherlands)

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The Dutch Ministry of General Affairs ("Ministerie van Algemene Zaken") is the ministry headed by the Prime Minister of the Netherlands (currently Mark Rutte). It is comparable to the Chancellery of the Chancellor of Germany, British Cabinet Office, and (at a stretch) the American Executive Office of the President, although its designation as "ministry" emphasises the role of Prime Minister of the Netherlands as primus inter pares among the ministers of the Dutch government.

The Ministry of General Affairs was instituted in 1947. Since that year every prime minister of the Netherlands has held the post. Between 1959 and 1963 there was a state secretary added to the ministry.

The ministry has three responsibilities: namely coordination of government policy, the Dutch Royal House and government communication on the Royal house and government policy. The ministry also houses the secretariat of the Cabinet of the Netherlands. The main office of the ministry is located in the Binnenhof, the political centre of the Netherlands. With only about 400 employees this ministry is by far the smallest ministry in the Netherlands.

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

The following are also part of the Ministry, but operate relatively independent of the Prime Minister:

  • 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").

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