| Kingdom of the Netherlands
|Official Language: Dutch, West Frisian|
|Government: Parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy|
|Head of State: (leave this blank for players)|
|Formation: July 26, 1581|
|Population: 16,408,557 (2008 estimate)|
|Currency: Euro (€) EUR|
|Human Rights Record: Human Rights in the Netherlands|
|Territorial Disputes: None|
|Ongoing Conflicts: None|
Welcome to the international embassy of the Netherlands from Her Majesty Queen Beatrix! We hope you enjoy your stay, as long as you follow the rules and remain respectful.
The Netherlands currently enjoys diplomatic relations with all nations.
The Netherlands is a member of the EU, NATO.
Then Netherlands is a signatory to the following treaties: EU Treaties, NATO Treaties.
The Netherlands is the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which consists of the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba in the Caribbean. The Netherlands is a parliamentary democratic constitutional monarchy, located in Western Europe. It is bordered by the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east.
The Netherlands is often called Holland, which is formally incorrect as North and South Holland are merely two of its twelve provinces. For more on this issue see terminology of the Netherlands. The word Dutch is used to refer to the people, the language, and anything indigenous to the Netherlands.
The Netherlands has an international outlook. Among other affiliations the country is a founding member of the European Union (EU), NATO, the OECD, and has signed the Kyoto protocol. With Belgium and Luxembourg it constitutes the Benelux economic union. The country is host to five international courts: the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Court and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. The former four are situated in The Hague as is the EU's criminal intelligence agency Europol. This has led to the city being dubbed "the world's legal capital."
The Netherlands is a geographically low-lying country, with about 27% of its area and 60% of its population located below sea level. Significant areas have been gained through land reclamation and preserved through an elaborate systems of polders and dikes. Much of the Netherlands is formed by the estuary of three important European rivers, which together with their distributaries form the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta. Most of the country is very flat, with the exception of foothills of the Ardennes in the far south–east and several low-hill ranges in the central parts created by ice-age glaciers.
The Netherlands is a densely populated country. It is popular for its traditional windmills, tulips, cheese, clogs (wooden shoes), delftware and gouda pottery, for its bicycles, and in addition, traditional values and civil virtues such as its classic social tolerance. Being an old parliamentary democracy, the country is more recently known for its rather modern, liberal policies toward drugs, prostitution, homosexuality, and euthanasia.
Since the independence from Spain in 1581 seven provinces formed the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. The republic was a confederation of the provinces Holland, Zeeland, Groningen, Friesland, Utrecht, Overijssel and Gelre. All these provinces were autonomous and had their own government, the "States of the Province". The States-General, the confederal government, were seated in The Hague and consisted of representatives from each of the seven provinces. The very thinly populated region of Drenthe, mainly consisting of poor peatland, was part of the Republic too, although Drenthe was not considered one of the provinces. Drenthe had its own States but the landdrost of Drenthe was appointed by the States-General.
In 1795 the last stadtholder William V of Orange fled to England. His son returned to the Netherlands in 1813 to become William I of the Netherlands, Sovereign Prince of the Netherlands. On 16 March 1815, the Sovereign Prince became King of the Netherlands.
In 1815, the Congress of Vienna formed the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, by expanding the Netherlands with Belgium in order to create a strong country on the northern border of France. In addition, William became hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg. The Congress of Vienna gave Luxembourg to William as personal property in exchange for his German possessions, Nassau-Dillenburg, Siegen, Hadamar and Diez.
Belgium rebelled and gained independence in 1830, while the personal union between Luxembourg and the Netherlands was severed in 1890, when King William III of the Netherlands died with no surviving male heirs. Ascendancy laws prevented his daughter Queen Wilhelmina from becoming the next Grand Duchess. Therefore the throne of Luxembourg passed over from the House of Orange-Nassau to the House of Nassau-Weilburg, another branch of the House of Nassau.
After the Second World War, the Dutch economy prospered by leaving behind an era of neutrality and gaining closer ties with neighbouring states. The Netherlands was one of the founding members of the Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) grouping and was among the twelve founding members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and among the six founding members of the European Coal and Steel Community, which would later evolve, via the EEC (Common Market), into the European Union.
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