The Netherlands is a parliamentary democracy. On behalf of the Dutch people, Parliament scrutinises the Dutch government and makes laws in cooperation with the Government. The Parliament of the Netherlands is called the States General and is bicameral, i.e. it consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal
in Dutch) and the Senate (Eerste Kamer der Staten-Generaal
). General elections for the House of Representatives are held at least every four years.
After the elections, not only is there a new House of Representatives, but there will also be a new Cabinet. The Cabinet comprises Ministers and State Secretaries. During the formation period, the various political parties negotiate about the formation of a new Cabinet for the next four years. Those political groups that are willing to cooperate with one another and together have a majority in Parliament, form a coalition. Subsequently, the so-called formateur chooses the Ministers and State Secretaries for the new Cabinet. The formation process must result in a Cabinet that is supported by a workable majority in the House of Representatives.