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01. Welcome to The Hague

Seat of Government

As the seat of the Dutch government, The Hague figures prominently in the news every single day. Nearly all the important decisions about the future of the nation are taken here. Journalists report daily from The Hague on political developments and policy.

Even though it is not the nation’s capital, The Hague as the seat of the government; that makes The Netherlands practically unique among nations. The governmental ministries and foreign embassies are also located in The Hague. The result is that many businesses, congresses, lobbyists, advisers, diplomats and journalists are drawn to the city. Because, if you want to influence policy and expand your network, you need to be in The Hague. The result is a city of extraordinary vitality.

The beautiful, historic ‘Binnenhof’ is viewed in the Netherlands as the symbol of the Dutch government and of Dutch political life. The Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament meet here, and houses the office of the Prime Minister. Every year on ‘Prinsjesdag’, the king, as head of state, gives a speech in which he presents the government’s policy proposals for the coming year.

The modern towers of the governmental ministries are just a few hundred metres away from the Binnenhof. The impressive buildings define the city’s skyline. The atmosphere of The Hague is one of informal openness and the city offers unexpected extras: for example, the prime minister rides his bike to work, just like anyone else, and you’re liable to run into a politician or a journalist at one of the many outdoor cafés.

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