The Netherlands borders to Belgium to the south and Germany to the east. Around a quarter of this country’s territory is at or below sea level. This is why many parts of the Netherlands are protected by dykes and sea walls in case of floods. Large parts of the country has already been reclaimed by the sea. Netherlands’ economy’s most important sectors in 2012 were public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (22.7 %), industry (19.4 %) and wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (18.6 %). Export for the Netherlands are mainly through Germany, Belgium and France, while import is done through Germany, China and Belgium.
41 540.4 km2
16 730 348 (2012)
Population as % of total EU population
€ 599.338 billion (2012)
Official EU language(s)
Parliamentary constitutional monarchy
EU member country since
25 March 1957
Seats in the European Parliament
Eurozone member since 1 January 1999
Schengen area member
Yes, Schengen Area member since 14 June 1985
Presidency of the Council
The Netherlands has held the revolving presidency of the Council of the EU 11 times between 1960 and 2004. The next time will be in 2016.