The Netherlands and Vatican City

The Dutch embassy to the Holy See is a bilateral post with multilateral aspects. Due to its unique position, the diplomacy at this post is mainly political and cultural in character. The spearheads of the embassy are: Peace, Climate, Migration, Human Rights and Church and Art.

 

A world-wide network

Vatican City itself is a small state, without major geopolitical, military or economic interests. However, the Holy See represents a worldwide network of more than 1,2 billion Christians. For many, the pope is a moral benchmark. His message, be it a tweet or a encyclical, has a major outreach. His influence is not only moral, but also political. Especially in Catholic countries, the pope is recognised as an important authority; which is evidenced by his engagement in peace processes.

The network of the Catholic church is intricate. The church is present in all layers of society. In countries where authorities are absent, the church might be the only effective institute. In the most abandoned regions, priests and nuns are often still present, who serve the Holy See with information. Therefore, Vatican City is an important listening post for the Netherlands.

 

Religion and diplomacy

The Netherlands, a secular country, may not deem religion and diplomacy as self-evident. However, on a global level, religion plays a major role in people's lives. Sometimes, our humanitarian goals are better served in cooperation with religious organizations, for example in cases of interreligious dialogue. The Catholic Church aims for unity among the Christians and dialogue with other religions. Moreover, the Netherlands and Vatican City share common goals in the fields of climate, conflict prevention, migration and human rights.