Parliament’s duties include scrutinising the work of the Government and making new laws in cooperation with the Government. The Dutch Parliament is called “the States General”. It is bicameral, which means it consists of two chambers: the Senate (Eerste Kamer der Staten-Generaal) and the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal).

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People’s representation

The members of the Senate and the House of Representatives represent the people of the Netherlands. But how do these representatives of the people know what their voters want?

House of representatives

The main duties of the House of Representatives are co-legislation and checking that the Government carries out its work properly. The House of Representatives also plays an important role in policy-making.


The Senate is one of the two chambers of the Dutch Parliament. It is not elected directly by the Dutch people. The main task of the Senate is co-legislation, but it is also the duty of the Senators to scrutinise the work of the Government.

Duties and rights of Parliament

The House of Representatives has two main duties: making laws and scrutinising the work of the Government. The duties of the Senate are scrutinising the Government and considering bills approved by the House of Representatives. The Government is obliged to provide both chambers with the necessary information, so as to enable Parliament to scrutinise the work of the Government properly. This obligation is laid down in the Constitution.

The Cabinet

The Cabinet comprises the Prime Minister, the other Ministers and the State Secretaries. The Cabinet formulates and is accountable for the Government’s policies. The Prime Minister acts as president of the Cabinet and chairs the weekly “Council of Ministers”.

Coalition vs Opposition

The political parties that make up the Cabinet are called coalition parties. Parties that are not included in the Cabinet are called opposition parties. They can be said to oppose the coalition parties, as it were.