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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Bilateral agreements and worldwide cooperation


13.Mobility and internationalisation

13.7Bilateral agreements and worldwide cooperation

Last update: 27 November 2023

Bilateral agreements

Worldwide partnership programmes

The intermediary organizations European Platforminternationalization in Education, CINOP and NUFFIC are a link between educational institutions, the national government and international organizations in the field of internationalization, international cooperation and capacity building within education. The main functions of these organizations are:

  • (inter)National information / documentation / educational promotion;
  • Implementation of national, bilateral and international programs;
  • Advising the national government on policy implementation;
  • Advising institutions based on available expertise in the field of internationalization, international cooperation and capacity building. In doing so, Nuffic maintains a focus on eight themes: Europe, recognition, mobility, international cooperation, internationalization strategies, international education markets, scholarship and grant programs and the labor market;
  • Representation on behalf of the government in management committees of international programs;
  • Supporting educational institutions for project applications and fundraising.


Bilateral cooperation often takes place on the basis of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs). These are documents in which both countries agree on how the cooperation is organized and what their common goals are.
Through the bilateral channel, there are programs active that focus on different areas of concern, namely: food security, security, water and sexual and reproductive rights and health. These include the Netherlands' 15 partner countries.


Cooperation and participation in worldwide programmes and organisations

Multilateral partnership programmes

Dutch Language Union

The Dutch Language Union is an international treaty organization between the Netherlands, including the Caribbean region, and Flanders, with Suriname as an associate member.  The Language Union develops and promotes policy for Dutch in the Netherlands, Flanders and Suriname, and supports Dutch in the world. The objectives of the Language Union are (art 3 a to d Language Union Treaty):
"The common: 

  • Development of the Dutch language, 
  • Promotion of the knowledge and responsible use of the Dutch language,
  • Promotion of Dutch literature,
  • Promotion of the study and dissemination of the Dutch language and literature abroad."


The tasks of the Dutch Language Union include:

  • Lays down the spelling for the government and education. This official spelling can be found in a Leidraad and a Woordenlijst van de Nederlandse Taal;*stimulates that the 3 countries cooperate in making such things as dictionaries and grammars;
  • Gives advice on language on and answers language questions that people can ask by e-mail;
  • Conducts research into reading behavior and the role books play in our society;
  • Provides information and documentation on Dutch literature.



The Dutch government works with and within UNESCO, the UN organization responsible for achieving SDG4 (Quality Education for All). Within UNESCO, the Netherlands considers it important that there is a substantive focus on equal access to education, equal opportunities within education and the use of innovations and digitalization. The Netherlands supports the establishment of the Global Education Coordination Mechanism and the associated Interagency Secretariat and finds it important that this new body ensures greater coherence and consistency within the international education architecture. The Netherlands also supports the "Berlin Declaration on Education for Sustainable Development" adopted in 2021 and the "Paris Declaration: a Global Call for Investing in the Futures of Education. Both declarations call on member states to increase their commitment to achieving SDG4, put more emphasis on diversity and inclusiveness of education and generate more attention to the role of education in achieving the other SDGs. Finally, within UNESCO, the Netherlands is funding a small-scale project on Comprehensive Sexuality Education, which focuses on sexuality education in schools.