Committee of Ministers

The Netherlands chairs the Committee of Ministers

Nov. 2003 – May 2004

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, former Foreign Minister of Netherlands


Priorities of the Dutch Chairmanship

The Netherlands and the Council of Europe

Press releases


Session of the Committee of Ministers – November 2003
Official visit of Walter Schwimmer to the Hague


Cultural programme of the Dutch Chairmanship


The Committee of Ministers in brief
Previous Chairmanships


Dr Rudolph Bot, President of the Committee of Ministers
Visit of Jan Peter Balkenende, Prime Minister of the Netherlands
Committee of Ministers session - Nov. 2003
Visit of Walter Schwimmer to the Netherlands

Government of Netherlands
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
 House of Representatives
The Foreign Affairs Ministers of the Council of Europe member states hold the Chair of the Committee of Ministers for a term of 6 months in rotation. At the end of each Session of the Committee of Ministers, the Chairmanship falls to the next member state in the alphabetical order of the English country names.

At the conclusion of the Session of the Committee of Ministers on 6 November 2003 in Chisinau (Moldova), the Netherlands assumed the Chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s executive body for the next six months.

At the close of the 113th Session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, held in Moldova, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, Foreign Affairs Minister of the Netherlands, set out the priorities of the programme for the Dutch Chairmanship of the Council of Europe over the next six months.

On 3 December 2003, Dr Bernard Bot was appointed Foreign Minister of the Netherlands. In this capacity, he will be chairing the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers until 14 May 2004.

The programme of the Netherlands Chairmanship will be structured around three key themes:
- the defence of human rights and the effectiveness of monitoring mechanisms
- integration and social cohesion
- the promotion of synergy between the Council of Europe and other international organisations.

The Dutch Government will organise several events in the Netherlands based on these themes, including:
- a conference on issues related to the European Court of Human Rights in The Hague in December
- a congress on fundamental rights and intercultural society in The Hague in November
- a meeting of the European Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography in Rotterdam in December
- a seminar on police ethics in March 2004
- a seminar on the implementation of human rights in Europe in spring 2004

Convinced that synergy and the sharing of responsibilities between international organisations create added value, the Netherlands will organise a quadripartite Council of Europe/European Union meeting in spring 2004, to discuss in particular the proposals of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Walter Schwimmer, on the theme of "Greater Europe - a Europe of Partners".

The Netherlands will hold the Chairmanship of the Council of Europe until 14 May 2004.

Dr. Bernard Bot ''The 3rd Summit will be an opportunity to reaffirm the Council of Europe's role'' (more ...)

''Renewed reflection about our values is now an urgent necessity'', says Jan Peter Balkenende (more ...)
Laying of a tile representing non-violence at Council of Europe
Photo gallery
Dutch proposal on public health sent for opinion to several Council of Europe committees (more ...)

According to Piet-Hein Donner, the aim of integration is not homogeneity, but a sharing of citizenship (more ...)

Terrorism must be combated without stigmatising certain groups, says Rita Verdonk, Dutch Minister for Immigration (more ...)

Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, marked the opening of the Dutch Chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers (more…)


 Dutch Chairmanship: special site of the Foreign Ministry
 Committee of Ministers
 Council of Europe website in Dutch