View Text Low Bandwidth Version
Download Publication
Europe :: Netherlands
Page last updated on June 25, 2015
view 17 photos of
  • Introduction :: NETHERLANDS

  • The Dutch United Provinces declared their independence from Spain in 1579; during the 17th century, they became a leading seafaring and commercial power, with settlements and colonies around the world. After a 20-year French occupation, a Kingdom of the Netherlands was formed in 1815. In 1830 Belgium seceded and formed a separate kingdom. The Netherlands remained neutral in World War I, but suffered invasion and occupation by Germany in World War II. A modern, industrialized nation, the Netherlands is also a large exporter of agricultural products. The country was a founding member of NATO and the EEC (now the EU) and participated in the introduction of the euro in 1999. In October 2010, the former Netherlands Antilles was dissolved and the three smallest islands - Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba - became special municipalities in the Netherlands administrative structure. The larger islands of Sint Maarten and Curacao joined the Netherlands and Aruba as constituent countries forming the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
  • Geography :: NETHERLANDS

  • Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between Belgium and Germany
    52 30 N, 5 45 E
    total: 41,543 sq km
    land: 33,893 sq km
    water: 7,650 sq km
    slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey
    total: 1,053 km
    border countries (2): Belgium 478 km, Germany 575 km
    451 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
    temperate; marine; cool summers and mild winters
    mostly coastal lowland and reclaimed land (polders); some hills in southeast
    lowest point: Zuidplaspolder -7 m
    highest point: Mount Scenery 862 m (on the island of Saba in the Caribbean, now considered an integral part of the Netherlands following the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles)
    note: the highest point on continental Netherlands is Vaalserberg at 322 m
    natural gas, petroleum, peat, limestone, salt, sand and gravel, arable land
    agricultural land: 55.1%
    arable land 29.8%; permanent crops 1.1%; permanent pasture 24.2%
    forest: 10.8%
    other: 34.1% (2011 est.)
    4,572 sq km (2007)
    91 cu km (2011)
    total: 10.61 cu km/yr (12%/88%/1%)
    per capita: 636.7 cu m/yr (2008)
    water pollution in the form of heavy metals, organic compounds, and nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates; air pollution from vehicles and refining activities; acid rain
    party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    located at mouths of three major European rivers (Rhine, Maas or Meuse, and Schelde)
  • People and Society :: NETHERLANDS

  • noun: Dutchman(men), Dutchwoman(women)
    adjective: Dutch
    Dutch 80.7%, EU 5%, Indonesian 2.4%, Turkish 2.2%, Surinamese 2%, Moroccan 2%, Caribbean 0.8%, other 4.8% (2008 est.)
    Dutch (official)
    note: Frisian, Low Saxon, and Limburgish are recognized as regional languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
    Roman Catholic 28%, Protestant 19% (includes Dutch Reformed 9%, Protestant Church of The Netherlands, 7%, Calvinist 3%), other 11% (includes about 5% Muslim and lesser numbers of Hindu, Buddhist, Jehovah's Witness, and Orthodox), none 42% (2009 est.)
    16,877,351 (July 2014 est.)
    0-14 years: 16.9% (male 1,460,234/female 1,393,766)
    15-24 years: 12.2% (male 1,046,323/female 1,006,114)
    25-54 years: 40.4% (male 3,423,777/female 3,399,378)
    55-64 years: 12.9% (male 1,088,860/female 1,094,574)
    65 years and over: 17.6% (male 1,331,258/female 1,633,067) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 52.8%
    youth dependency ratio: 25.9%
    elderly dependency ratio: 26.8%
    potential support ratio: 3.7% (2014 est.)
    total: 42.1 years
    male: 41.2 years
    female: 42.9 years (2014 est.)
    0.42% (2014 est.)
    10.83 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    8.57 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    1.97 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    urban population: 89.9% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: 1.05% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    AMSTERDAM (capital) 1.084 million; Rotterdam 993,000; The Hague (seat of government) 646,000 (2014)
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    29.4 (2011 est.)
    6 deaths/100,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total: 3.66 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 3.95 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 3.35 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    total population: 81.12 years
    male: 79.02 years
    female: 83.34 years (2014 est.)
    1.78 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    note: percent of women aged 18-45 (2008)
    12.9% of GDP (2013)
    4.7 beds/1,000 population (2009)
    urban: 100% of population
    rural: 100% of population
    total: 100% of population
    urban: 0% of population
    rural: 0% of population
    total: 0% of population (2012 est.)
    urban: 100% of population
    rural: 100% of population
    total: 100% of population
    urban: 0% of population
    rural: 0% of population
    total: 0% of population (2012 est.)
    21.9% (2014)
    5.9% of GDP (2011)
    total: 18 years
    male: 18 years
    female: 18 years (2012)
    total: 9.5%
    male: 8.9%
    female: 10% (2012 est.)
  • Government :: NETHERLANDS

  • conventional long form: Kingdom of the Netherlands
    conventional short form: Netherlands
    local long form: Koninkrijk der Nederlanden
    local short form: Nederland
    constitutional monarchy
    name: Amsterdam; note - The Hague is the seat of government
    geographic coordinates: 52 21 N, 4 55 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
    note: time descriptions apply to the continental Netherlands only, not to the Caribbean components
    12 provinces (provincies, singular - provincie); Drenthe, Flevoland, Fryslan (Friesland), Gelderland, Groningen, Limburg, Noord-Brabant (North Brabant), Noord-Holland (North Holland), Overijssel, Utrecht, Zeeland (Zealand), Zuid-Holland (South Holland)
    Aruba, Curacao, Sint Maarten
    23 January 1579 (the northern provinces of the Low Countries conclude the Union of Utrecht breaking with Spain; on 26 July 1581 they formally declared their independence with an Act of Abjuration; however, it was not until 30 January 1648 and the Peace of Westphalia that Spain recognized this independence)
    King's Day (the King's birthday of 27 April (1967); celebrated on 26 April if 27 April is a Sunday)
    previous 1597, 1798; latest adopted 24 August 1815 (substantially revised in 1848); amended many times, last in 2010 (2013)
    civil law system based on the French system; constitution does not permit judicial review of acts of the States General
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: King WILLEM-ALEXANDER (since 30 April 2013)
    head of government: Prime Minister Mark RUTTE (since 14 October 2010); Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk ASSCHER (since 5 November 2012); note - Mark RUTTE heads his second cabinet since 5 November 2012
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch
    elections: the monarchy is hereditary; following Second Chamber elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the monarch; deputy prime ministers appointed by the monarch
    note: there is also a Council of State composed of the monarch, heir apparent, and councilors that provides advice to the cabinet on legislative and administrative policy
    description: bicameral States General or Staten Generaal consists of the First Chamber or Eerste Kamer (75 seats; members indirectly elected by the country's 12 provincial council members by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms) and the Second Chamber or Tweede Kamer (150 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve up to 4-year terms)
    elections: First Chamber - last held on May 2011 (next to be held in May 2015); Second Chamber - last held on 12 September 2012 (next to be held by March 2017)
    election results: First Chamber - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - VVD 16, PvdA 14, CDA 11, PVV 10, SP 8, D66 5, GL 5, other 6; Second Chamber - percent of vote by party - VVD 26.6%, PvdA 24.8%, PVV, 10.1%, SP 9.7%, CDA 8.5%, D66 8.0%, CU 3.1%, GL 6.7%, other 2.5%; seats by party - VVD 41, PvdA 38, PVV 15, SP 15, CDA 13, D66 12, CU 5, GL 4, other 7
    highest court(s): Supreme Court or Hoge Raad (consists of 41 judges: the president, 6 vice-presidents, 31 justices or raadsheren, and 3 justices in exceptional service, referred to as buitengewone dienst); the court is divided into criminal, civil, tax, and ombuds chambers
    judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the monarch from a list provided by the Second Chamber of the States General; justices appointed for life or until mandatory retirement at age 70
    subordinate courts: courts of appeal; district courts, each with up to 5 subdistrict courts
    Christian Democratic Appeal or CDA [Sybrand VAN HAERSMA BUMA]
    Christian Union or CU [Arie SLOB]
    Democrats 66 or D66 [Alexander PECHTOLD]
    Green Left or GL [Bram VAN OJIK]
    Labor Party or PvdA [Diederik SAMSOM]
    Party for Freedom or PVV [Geert WILDERS]
    Party for the Animals or PvdD [Marianne THIEME]
    People's Party for Freedom and Democracy or VVD [Mark RUTTE]
    Reformed Political Party or SGP [Kees VAN DER STAAIJ]
    Socialist Party or SP [Emile ROEMER]
    plus a few minor parties
    Christian Trade Union Federation or CNV [Maurice LIMMEN]
    Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers or VNO-NCW [Hans DE BOER]
    Federation for Small and Medium-sized businesses or MKB [Michael VAN STRAALAN]
    Netherlands Trade Union Federation or FNV [Ton HEERTS]
    Social Economic Council or SER [Mariette HAMER]
    Trade Union Federation of Middle and High Personnel or CMHP [Reginald VISSER]
    ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CBSS (observer), CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
    chief of mission: Ambassador Rudolf Simon BEKINK (since 20 July 2012)
    chancery: 4200 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 244-5300, [1] 877-388-2443
    FAX: [1] (202) 362-3430
    consulate(s) general: Chicago, Miami, New York, San Francisco
    consulate(s): Boston
    chief of mission: ambassador Timothy M. BROAS (since 19 March 2014)
    embassy: Lange Voorhout 102, 2514 EJ, The Hague
    mailing address: PSC 71, Box 1000, APO AE 09715
    telephone: [31] (70) 310-2209
    FAX: [31] (70) 310-2207
    consulate(s) general: Amsterdam
    three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and blue; similar to the flag of Luxembourg, which uses a lighter blue and is longer; the colors were those of WILLIAM I, Prince of Orange, who led the Dutch Revolt against Spanish sovereignty in the latter half of the 16th century; originally the upper band was orange, but because it tended to fade to red over time, the red shade was eventually made the permanent color; the banner is perhaps the oldest tricolor in continuous use
    lion, tulip; national color: orange
    name: "Het Wilhelmus" (The William)
    lyrics/music: Philips VAN MARNIX van Sint Aldegonde (presumed)/unknown
    note: adopted 1932, in use since the 17th century, making it the oldest national anthem in the world; also known as "Wilhelmus van Nassouwe" (William of Nassau), it is in the form of an acrostic, where the first letter of each stanza spells the name of the leader of the Dutch Revolt
  • Economy :: NETHERLANDS

  • The Netherlands, the sixth-largest economy in the European Union, plays an important role as a European transportation hub, with a persistently high trade surplus, stable industrial relations, and moderate unemployment. Industry focuses on food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining, and electrical machinery. A highly mechanized agricultural sector employs only 2% of the labor force but provides large surpluses for food-processing and underpins the country’s status as the world’s second largest agricultural exporter. The Netherlands is part of the Eurozone, and as such, its monetary policy is controlled by the European Central Bank. The Dutch financial sector is highly concentrated, with four commercial banks possessing over 90% of banking assets. The sector suffered as a result of the global financial crisis and required billions of dollars of government support, but the European Banking Authority completed stringent reviews in 2014 and deemed Dutch banks to be well-capitalized. To address the 2009 and 2010 economic downturns, the government sought to stimulate the domestic economy by accelerating infrastructure programs, offering corporate tax breaks for employers to retain workers, and expanding export credits. The stimulus programs and bank bailouts, however, resulted in a government budget deficit of 5.3% of GDP in 2010 that contrasted sharply with a surplus of 0.7% in 2008. The government of Prime Minister Mark RUTTE has since implemented significant austerity measures to improve public finances and has instituted broad structural reforms in in key policy areas, including the labor market, the housing sector, the energy market, and the pension system. As a result, the government budget deficit at the end of 2014 dropped to 1.8% of GDP. Following a protracted recession during which unemployment doubled to 7.4% and household consumption contracted for nearly three consecutive years, the year 2014 saw fragile GDP growth of 0.8 percent and a rise in most economic indicators. Drivers of growth included increased exports and business investments, as well as newly invigorated household consumption.
    $799.7 billion (2014 est.)
    $793.4 billion (2013 est.)
    $799.1 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    $880.4 billion (2014 est.)
    0.8% (2014 est.)
    -0.7% (2013 est.)
    -1.6% (2012 est.)
    $47,400 (2014 est.)
    $47,200 (2013 est.)
    $47,700 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 22
    28.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
    26.8% of GDP (2013 est.)
    28.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
    household consumption: 44.7%
    government consumption: 26.2%
    investment in fixed capital: 18.8%
    investment in inventories: 0.1%
    exports of goods and services: 83.6%
    imports of goods and services: -73.4%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 2.8%
    industry: 22.3%
    services: 74.8% (2014 est.)
    grains, potatoes, sugar beets, fruits, vegetables; livestock
    agroindustries, metal and engineering products, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum, construction, microelectronics, fishing
    -1.5% (2014 est.)
    8.214 million (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 1.8%
    industry: 17%
    services: 81.2% (2013 est.)
    7.4% (2014 est.)
    7.3% (2013 est.)
    9.1% (2013 est.)
    lowest 10%: 2.1%
    highest 10%: 24.5% (2012 est.)
    25.1 (2013 est.)
    32.6 (1994 est.)
    revenues: $413.8 billion
    expenditures: $437.3 billion (2014 est.)
    47% of GDP (2014 est.)
    -2.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
    69% of GDP (2014 est.)
    68.8% of GDP (2013 est.)
    note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment, debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
    calendar year
    0.3% (2014 est.)
    2.6% (2013 est.)
    0.75% (31 December 2013)
    1.5% (31 December 2010)
    note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
    2.3% (31 December 2014 est.)
    2.31% (31 December 2013 est.)
    $387 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $401.9 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders
    $1.119 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $1.158 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $1.612 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $1.682 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $671.7 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $698.6 billion (31 December 2013)
    $578.9 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $79.2 billion (2014 est.)
    $87.12 billion (2013 est.)
    $552.8 billion (2014 est.)
    $555.6 billion (2013 est.)
    machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels; foodstuffs
    Germany 25.9%, Belgium 13.2%, France 8.8%, UK 8.6%, Italy 4.6% (2013)
    $488.8 billion (2014 est.)
    $489 billion (2013 est.)
    machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs, clothing
    Germany 14.5%, China 12%, Belgium 8.5%, UK 6.6%, Russia 6.5%, US 6.3% (2013)
    $71.95 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $46.25 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $2.347 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $2.434 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $646.4 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $605.7 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $1.016 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $982 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    euros (EUR) per US dollar -
    0.75 (2014 est.)
    0.76 (2013 est.)
    0.78 (2012 est.)
    0.72 (2011 est.)
    0.76 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: NETHERLANDS

  • 98.57 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    116.8 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    15.02 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    33.25 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    29.92 million kW (2012)
    85.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    1.6% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    0.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    13.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    38,540 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    35,500 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    999,700 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    302.6 million bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    1.221 million bbl/day (2012 est.)
    983,300 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    2.138 million bbl/day (2012 est.)
    2.131 million bbl/day (2010 est.)
    66.32 billion cu m
    note: the Netherlands has curbed gas production due to seismic activity in the province of Groningen, largest source of gas reserves (2014 est.)
    38.39 billion cu m (2014 est.)
    55.38 billion cu m (2014 est.)
    27.38 billion cu m (2014 est.)
    1.044 trillion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    239.6 million Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: NETHERLANDS

  • 7.086 million (2012)
    19.643 million (2012)
    general assessment: highly developed and well maintained
    domestic: extensive fixed-line fiber-optic network; large cellular telephone system with 5 major operators utilizing the third generation of the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) technology; one in five households now use Voice over the Internet Protocol (VoIP) services
    international: country code - 31; submarine cables provide links to the US and Europe; satellite earth stations - 5 (3 Intelsat - 1 Indian Ocean and 2 Atlantic Ocean, 1 Eutelsat, and 1 Inmarsat (2011)
    more than 90% of households are connected to cable or satellite TV systems that provide a wide range of domestic and foreign channels; public service broadcast system includes multiple broadcasters, 3 with a national reach and the remainder operating in regional and local markets; 2 major nationwide commercial television companies, each with 3 or more stations, and many commercial TV stations in regional and local markets; nearly 600 radio stations with a mix of public and private stations providing national or regional coverage (2008)
    AM 4, FM 567, shortwave 1 (2009)
    342 (2009)
    13.699 million (2012)
    14.872 million (2009)
  • Transportation :: NETHERLANDS

  • 29 (2013)
    total: 23
    over 3,047 m: 3
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 11
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 6
    under 914 m: 2 (2013)
    total: 6
    914 to 1,523 m: 4
    under 914 m:
    2 (2013)
    1 (2013)
    condensate 81 km; gas 8,531 km; oil 578 km; refined products 716 km (2013)
    total: 3,013 km
    standard gauge: 3,013 km 1.435-m gauge (2,195 km electrified) (2012)
    total: 139,295 km (includes 2,758 km of expressways) (2012)
    6,237 km (navigable for ships of 50 tons) (2012)
    total: 744
    by type: bulk carrier 4, cargo 514, carrier 15, chemical tanker 56, container 67, liquefied gas 21, passenger 17, passenger/cargo 14, petroleum tanker 4, refrigerated cargo 10, roll on/roll off 19, specialized tanker 3
    foreign-owned: 196 (Australia 1, Bermuda 1, Denmark 27, Finland 13, France 2, Germany 86, Ireland 8, Italy 6, Japan 1, Norway 19, Sweden 12, UAE 4, US 16)
    registered in other countries: 233 (Antigua and Barbuda 17, Bahamas 23, Belize 1, Canada 1, Curacao 43, Cyprus 23, Germany 1, Gibraltar 34, Italy 2, Liberia 31, Luxembourg 3, Malta 3, Marshall Islands 21, Panama 6, Paraguay 1, Philippines 17, Russia 2, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1, Singapore 1, UK 1, unknown 1) (2010)
    major seaport(s): IJmuiden, Vlissingen
    river port(s): Amsterdam (Nordsee Kanaal); Moerdijk (Hollands Diep River); Rotterdam (Rhine River); Terneuzen (Western Scheldt River)
    container port(s) (TEUs): Rotterdam (11,876,920)
    LNG terminal(s) (import): Rotterdam
  • Military :: NETHERLANDS

  • Royal Netherlands Army, Royal Netherlands Navy (includes Naval Air Service and Marine Corps), Royal Netherlands Air Force (Koninklijke Luchtmacht, KLu), Royal Marechaussee (Military Police) (2015)
    17 years of age for an all-volunteer force (2014)
    males age 16-49: 3,734,610
    females age 16-49: 3,687,940 (2014 est.)
    males age 16-49: 3,479,509
    females age 16-49: 3,435,564 (2014 est.)
    male: 100,446
    female: 94,750 (2014 est.)
    1.2% of GDP (2013)
    1.27% of GDP (2012)
    1.35% of GDP (2011)
    1.27% of GDP (2010)
  • Transnational Issues :: NETHERLANDS

  • none
    refugees (country of origin): 18,799 (Somalia); 15,533 (Iraq); 6,269 (Afghanistan) (2014)
    stateless persons: 1,951 (2014)
    major European producer of synthetic drugs, including ecstasy, and cannabis cultivator; important gateway for cocaine, heroin, and hashish entering Europe; major source of US-bound ecstasy; large financial sector vulnerable to money laundering; significant consumer of ecstasy