January 26, 2018
Earlier this month, Worth and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs celebrated the launch of the transformational online administrative portal for registering foreign diplomats and employees of international organisations (and their family members). The innovative portal is now live.
How does it work?
Individuals who work for foreign embassies, consulates or international organisations in the Netherlands can now be registered online, expediting the processing of identity cards and residence permits and saving time and resources. This process ensures that these individuals can claim certain privileges and immunities to which they are entitled because of their work. This data is not only important to staff members, but critical to administrative organisations in the Netherlands, such as the Dutch Tax Authorities, the Social Insurance Bank, and the police. The system stands in place of basic civilian registration processes which are not compulsory for foreign nationals.
How are staff members registered?
“Embassies and international organisations can now register employees themselves via this system. Afterwards, Foreign Affairs will check the data,” says Martijn Elgersma (Foreign Affairs, Deputy Director of the Protocol and Host Country Affairs Directorate).
How transformational is it?
Elgersma explains that “since the 19th century, diplomats in the Netherlands have been registered on cards. These card boxes were replaced by a computer system at the beginning of the 21st century. However, actual registration still had to be requested on paper as per diplomatic note, which a considerable amount of paper processing. With the modernisation of the registration system, we have not only transformed the previously paper-based system, but have met high security requirements. A pleasant side effect of this is that in this arena, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs now meets the objectives for the e-commerce component of the Government Digital Policy, 2017.”
Why is it important?
“There are more than 40 international organisations located in the Netherlands” says Henriette Tapperman (Probas coordinator). “Think of the International Court of Justice, Europol, but for example also the European Space Agency. In addition, there are more than 100 embassies and consulates within the Netherlands. The presence of these organisations is important for the international political objectives of the Netherlands, and also contributes to the Dutch economy. It is therefore important that these organisations and their employees are well served. In total it serves more than 22.000 people, comparable to a small municipality such as Bloemendaal or Zeewolde.”
What has the reaction been to the new registration portal?
Tapperman states that what they have “now is a very user-friendly and accessible system, in which the security of the personal data is guaranteed. Belgian colleagues have already shown interest!”