On Tuesday 7 March 2013 the annual debate on the State of Affairs in the European Union will take place. This is the major debate in the House about the topical issues concerning the European cooperation.


The debate will be held on the basis of the letter about the State of Affairs in the European Union, published by the Government a couple of weeks ago. Subjects include the (lack of) democratic legitimacy of the Union and options to enhance this, as well as the Dutch European priorities and the position of the Netherlands with regard to the various policy areas. The debate is held with Prime Minister Mr Mark Rutte and the minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Frans Timmermans.


Dutch members of the European Parliament can join the debate. During the debate they can take a seat in the Plenary Hall which is allocated to their fellow party members in the House. As to the order of speakers, MPs and MEPs are given the floor in turn, per political group. The order of speakers depends on the size of the respective political groups.


The members of the European Parliament are not allowed to interrupt members of the House, members of the Government or each other. The Speaker of the House may make an exception to this rule as far as a reply to MEPs' own contribution is concerned. MEPs do not have the right to put forward motions, nor to co-sign motions put forward by MPs. The debate is due to begin at 4.30 pm.