The Netherlands & the Holy See (Vatican City)
The Netherlands embassy to the Holy See is a bilateral post with multilateral aspects. The diplomacy at this post is mainly political and cultural in character due to its special position. 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 people, 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.
Platform of knowledge
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 Vatican with information. Therefore, the Holy See is an important platform of knowledge from all over the world, which adds to its importance for the Netherlands.
Religion and diplomacy
The Netherlands, a secular country, may not deem religion and diplomacy as self-evident. However, on a mondial level, religion plays a major role in people's lives. Sometimes, societal interests are better served in cooperation with religious foundations. For the Netherlands, engagement with the Holy See is important on the level of interreligious dialogue. The Catholic Church aims for unity among the Christians and dialogue with other religions. This is in the interest of the Netherlands, for cooperation increases the ability to face social challenges.