Acantilados Nortinos, Región de Chile
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Bilateral relations / Bilaterale betrekkingen

The bilateral relationship begins its journey with the accreditation of Juan Francisco Doursther as the First Consul of The Netherlands in Valparaíso, in 1826. Chile's first  female ambassador abroad was Carmen Vial Freire, appointed in 1947.

Relations from commercial interests to a broad and progressive bilateral agenda have been marked by events in the Chilean political and economic history in the last five decades. With the breakdown of democracy, many Chileans migrated to the Dutch territory, where they obtained protection and refuge. The support of Dutch personalities in the field of human rights was recognized in a solemn ceremony held at the Netherlands Chancellery in 2016. On that occasion, the distinguished politician and lawyer Saskia Stuiveling spoke on behalf of a selected group of Dutch people, recalling the affection that the meeting with the Chilean had marked in those circumstances. The creation of the Institute for the New Chile, supported by the Municipality of Rotterdam and the government of The Netherlands, fulfilled a pioneering task in the political and cultural life of Chilean people and Latin Americans in that period. This meeting of Chileans with The Netherlands has been reflected in the book 40 Years, 40 Histories, Chilean Refugees, and Solidarity in the Netherlands (2013). 

The bilateral relationship regained momentum with the official visit of President Patricio Aylwin in April 1991. The Convention on Social Security was signed in 1996, then modified in 2005, and is currently being updated. Highlighting these relationships, Queen Beatrix visited Chile in March 2003 and President Michelle Bachelet made a state visit to the Netherlands between May 25 and 27, 2009. Then she was received by Queen Beatrix. On that occasion, meetings were held along with Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and the Presidents of both Houses of the Parliament. During the visit, agreements regarding cooperation in education were signed. In that decade, Chile intensified its cooperation with the Netherlands on defense material. 

In early 2009, the then Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, accompanied by Princess Máxima, made a private visit to the Magellan region, including Antarctica. Subsequently, stand out the visits to the Netherlands by the Undersecretaries of Foreign Relations, Fernando Schmidt, in 2012, and Edgardo Riveros, in 2015, respectively. In turn, in recent years, there have been visits by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs from the Netherlands to Chile: Uri Rosenthal met Minister Alfredo Moreno in May 2012 and Bernard Koenders with Minister Heraldo Muñoz in 2016. On the occasion of the proceedings before the International Court of Justice, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Chile have attended The Hague to integrate the official delegations; this has been the case of the Ministers Alfredo Moreno (2012), Heraldo Muñoz (2015 and 2017), and Roberto Ampuero (2018). 

Bilateral relations are based on the community of values that animate both states, regarding the democratic political system, respect, and promotion of human rights, the role of political parties and civil society, adherence to the multilateral system, and the importance of international law in the preservation of international peace and security. Chile shares with the Netherlands the objectives of the Coalition for Equal Rights regarding the rights of LGBTI people, as well as the concern for the dimension of human rights in the field of business. 

In the commercial sphere, relations are conducted mainly within the framework of the Association Agreement between Chile and the European Union, in force since 2003, and currently in the process of modernization. 

In order to highlight the role of people in this field, in 2015 the Chamber of Deputies Medal was awarded to Professor Patricio Silva, the Chilean-born academic who heads the Latin American Studies Department at the University of Leiden. In 2017, Kees van Louvezijn, President of the Netherlands Foundation of Navigators of Cape Horn (Stichting Nederlandse Kaap Hoorn-vaarders), was awarded the Bernardo O'Higgins Order, in the rank of Officer. From the cultural point of view, the celebration in 2016 of the sighting/discovery by Dutch sailors of Cape Horn in January 1616 led to a series of meetings, investigations and publications, which underlined the wide range of subjects that comprise the bilateral agenda.

In terms of advanced human capital training, Chilean students develop an active postgraduate and specialization academic work. IN.NL Researchers Network ( is an expression of this growing network of knowledge and people that is renewing the bilateral relationships, with the support of Chile scholarships (Becas Chile) and from the students' host universities. There are direct academic cooperation agreements between Chilean and Dutch universities, including Groningen, Leiden, TU Delft and Erasmus (Rotterdam). 

In the cultural sphere alliances are expressed through a series of initiatives and activities ranging from film festivals to musical and writers' presentations. In this area, stand out Isabel Allende and Jorge Edwards as authors who have been distinguished with the Spinoza Conference Award granted by the University of Amsterdam, together with the Cervantes Institute and the Embassy of Spain. Also, we can mention the Holland Festival in Amsterdam, the distinctions awarded by the Prins Claus Foundation, the Rotterdam International Film Festival, among others.

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