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 then Prime Minister Louis Beel. The Ministry remained small until 1967, when it was greatly expanded by then Prime Minister Piet de Jong. Since his premiership the Ministry has continued to expand to the present day. The Minister of General Affairs (Dutch: Minister van Algemene Zaken) is the head of the Ministry who is also Prime Minister and a member of the Cabinet of the Netherlands. The current Minister and Prime Minister is Mark Rutte.[2]

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Netherlands
Ministry of General Affairs
Dutch: Ministerie van Algemene Zaken
Logo of the Ministry of General Affairs

Building of the Ministry of General Affairs
Department overview
Formed3 July 1937 (1937-07-03)
JurisdictionKingdom of the Netherlands
HeadquartersBinnenhof 19, The Hague, Netherlands
Annual budget1.4 million (2018)[1]
Minister responsible
Department executive
  • Paul Huijts, Secretary-General
WebsiteMinistry of General Affairs

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 Ministry has currently four Government Agencies and two Directorates:

Government Agencies Responsibilities
Government Information Service
(Dutch: Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst)
RVD Information
Scientific Council for Government Policy
(Dutch: Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid)
WRR Think tank
Office of the Prime Minister
(Dutch: Kabinet van de Minister-President)
KMP Government policyPlanning
Public Information and Communications Service
(Dutch: Dienst Publiek en Communicatie)
DPC Communication
  • Directorate for Royal House Division (CKH)
  • Oversight Commission for the Intelligence Services (CTIVD)

State Secretary for General Affairs

There has been one State Secretary for the Ministry of General Affairs. Norbert Schmelzer served as State Secretary for General Affairs in the De Quay cabinet from 19 May 1959 until 24 July 1963.

State Secretary for
General Affairs
Portfolio Term of office Party Prime Minister
Norbert Schmelzer
• Privatization Policy
• Government Real Estate
• Public Sector Organisations
19 May 1959 –
24 July 1963
Catholic People's Party Jan de Quay
(De Quay)
Source: (in Dutch)

See also


  1. (in Dutch) Begroting 2018, Rijksoverheid
  2. "Dit zijn de 24 mannen en vrouwen van Rutte III" (in Dutch). NOS. 26 October 2017. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
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