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Taking the EU forward together: Foreign Minister Maas meets his counterpart from the Netherlands

Heiko Maas and Stef Blok in front of the portraits of former German Foreign Ministers

Heiko Maas and Stef Blok in front of the portraits of former German Foreign Ministers, © Inga Kjer/photothek.net

22.03.2018 - Article

In their talks, Heiko Maas and Stef Blok focused on efforts to reform the European Union.

First guest in Berlin

They are both new to the job, and both used to be Justice Minister: Foreign Minister Maas today welcomed his counterpart from the Netherlands, Stef Blok, to the Federal Foreign Office. It was a special visit: Blok was the first colleague Heiko Maas has welcomed to Berlin as Foreign Minister.

Putting Europe on a new path

Heiko Maas talking to Stef Blok
Heiko Maas talking to Stef Blok© Inga Kjer/photothek.net

One important subject of the talks between Maas and Blok was the future of the European Union. Germany and the Netherlands are close partners on this question. “It is particularly important that the ideas on reforming the European Union are also a topic in German-Netherlands policies,” said Maas. “We need each other if we want to put Europe on a new path together.”

In addition to the EU, the agenda included other international issues such as the conflict in Syria and the situation in Turkey, Russia and Ukraine. Here, too, Germany and the Netherlands are working closely together.

Political, economic and social ties

Germany and the Netherlands enjoy extremely close and friendly relations. A dense network of political, economic and social ties exists between the two countries.

The Netherlands is Germany’s most important trading partner in Europe and its second-largest in the world. A quarter of all foreign students in the Netherlands come from Germany. In the case of naval and ground forces, cooperation is so close and trusting that some individual units are placed under the command of the partner country.


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Bilateral relations

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