Historical relationships: the beginning of the Dutch-French collaboration

art 5

For this week’s article, the focus moves closer to Europe and the historical relations between The Netherlands and France will be delved into.

The Dutch-French collaboration started in the 1560’s when the Dutch Republic formed the Triple Alliance, where the Kingdom of England and the Swedish Empire joined as well. Through the alliance, France succeeded into becoming the largest nation in Europe, so the alliance ended in 1668. From 1672 until 1678, The Netherlands and France entered a period of military tensions that resulted in a war. Despite these military tensions in the past, both countries unified powers in the 1900s for cultural and scientific cooperation when the Dutch Institute in Paris promoted Dutch art and culture, becoming one of the largest cultural centres in the city. Simultaneously, a series of French research institutes joined the Dutch ones to enhance collaborative capabilities.

France and the Netherlands are committed to strengthening their bilateral partnership to uphold European values. They emphasize the need for a strong European Union that champions a rules-based global order through multilateral cooperation to address global challenges. As the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, also stated during his visit to Paris, together with the French Presidency of the EU, The Netherlands is eager to contribute in particular with regard to climate policy, digital and strategic orientations.

Both countries share a commitment to defending EU values and supporting the enforcement of a regulation that links the Union budget to the rule of law. They call for the use of European mechanisms to ensure compliance with shared standards and support the European Commission in this endeavour. As both nations are aligned on the Conference on the Future of Europe, focusing on European values, they aim for economic prosperity, sustainable growth, and the protection of EU interests in the near future. They aim to prevent economic disparities among Member States and enhance overall economic convergence and resilience.

Solidarity and resilience in the face of crises are emphasized. France and the Netherlands were amongst the first supporters of a global vaccine distribution during the COVID19 period, and they are fighting for a universal access to health tools under a reformed WHO (World Health Organization).

They stress the significance of green and digital transitions and support European autonomy in technology. Climate and energy goals, including carbon neutrality, are endorsed. Therefore, a Carbon Border Adjustment mechanism is supported by these two in order to prevent carbon leakage. France and the Netherlands aim to strengthen European security and lead in carbon-free technologies.

Furthermore, the sustainability of the Schengen Area and the fight against organized crime are important. France and the Netherlands plan to also intensify cooperation in the Antilles. As a result, The Netherlands and France joined forces in 2017 to work together on the reconstruction of Saint Martin island. Both nations worked together effectively on security matters as well. They stated that the aim of the partnership was to formalize their collaboration for the long term and find ways of making a joint contribution to the sustainable development of the island. The collaboration between the two countries stressed the importance of carrying out joint infrastructure projects, for example with regard to the airport or a waste treatment plant, in close cooperation with the local authorities. Efforts on persuading the European Commission with the aim of raising EU funding for reconstruction purposes were also made.


This article serves as the introduction of the Dutch-French relationships and their history. The next week’s article will delve into the economic relations of the two countries and their corporate partnerships.



de Volkskrant . (2013, February 08). Institut Néerlandais gaat eind dit jaar dicht. de Volkskrant .

Government of The Netherlands . (2017, October 16). The Netherlands and France work together on reconstruction in St Maarten and Saint Martin. Retrieved from Government of The Netherlands : https://www.government.nl/latest/news/2017/10/16/the-netherlands-and-france-work-together-on-reconstruction-in-st-maarten-and-saint-martin

Government of The Netherlands . (2021, August 31). Joint statement of France and the Netherlands. Retrieved from Government of The Netherlands : https://www.government.nl/documents/diplomatic-statements/2021/08/31/joint-statement-of-france-and-the-netherland