By Jhr. mr. Alexander W. Beelaerts van Blokland, Justice (Judge) in the Court of Appeal and (honorary) Special Advisor International Affairs of the City of The Hague
For foreign ambassadors in The Hague it is of course important to know and have contact with members of the Dutch parliament and members of the international and national Dutch press. Important in both ways: to hear about The Netherlands and to ‘send’ messages, explaining about the positions and points of view of the countries they are ambassador of.
However, the relations between the ambassadors, parliament and press could be better, in several ways. That is why the International Press Centre ‘Nieuwspoort’ in The Hague –very well known club of politicians and press – took the initiative to organize a meeting together with former minister and also deputy prime minister and former EU ambassador Professor Laurens Jan Brinkhorst and myself, in my (honorary) capacity of Special Advisor International Affairs of the City of The Hague.
Afterwards International Press Centre ‘Nieuwspoort’ invited members of all three groups for a meeting on December 10th, 2014. Present were 25 % of the ambassadors of EU-countries, in alphabetical order:
- H.E. ms Teresa Paraskevi Angelatou (ambassador of Greece)
- H.E. mr Francesco Azzarello (ambassador of Italy)
- H.E. Dr Jaroslav Chlebo (ambassador of Slovakia)
- H.E. ms Ireny Comaroschi (ambassador of Romania)
- H.E. mr Roman Kirn (ambassador of Slovenia)
- H.E. mr Ole Moesby (ambassador of Denmark)
- H.E. mr Laurant Pic (ambassador of France)
- H.E. mr Darius Jonas Semaska (ambassador of Lithuania)
Also present were journalists of Dutch media (NOS TV and radio and the nationwide newspapers NRC Handelsblad, Volkskrant, Trouw and De Telegraaf) and international media (Reuters, Economist, Die Welt etc.) as well as mr Wouter Koolmees, member of parliament (and member of the board of Nieuwspoort). Of course Professor Brinkhorst and I were present as well. The chairman and the director of Nieuwspoort were present also and the chairman of the commission for international relations and foreign press of Nieuwspoort chaired the meeting.
After an open and very interesting discussion the conclusion was that Nieuwspoort should organize three or four times a year an informal meeting at Nieuwspoort for the three groups that have been mentioned above: (1) foreign ambassadors in The Hague, (2) members of the Dutch parliament and (3) members of the international and the national Dutch press in The Hague. To be continued !
If someone has good ideas for the upcoming meetings as mentioned, please let me know by e-mail !