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General debates 2019

General Political Debate

The General Political Debate forms the starting point of the new parliamentary year. It is a framework debate on the government's plans set out in de budget, conducted by the leaders of the parliamentary groups. All the members of the House and the Cabinet are in attendance during this debate, for which the House sets aside two days every year. In the months after the general debates the House examines the separate budget bills of the departments.

Budget Memorandum

The Speech from the Throne reflects how the government thinks the country is doing and sets out the government's major plans for the coming year. Every minister contributes a text passage to the speech, in his or her field of policy. Subsequently, the Prime Minister talks it over with the King.

"Members of the States General ..."

On Tuesday 17 September 2019, King Willem-Alexander delivered the Speech from the Throne in the Hall of Knights in The Hague, on behalf of the government. "Members of the States General ..." are the opening words of the Speech from the Throne. During the ceremony are also present in the Hall of Knights members of the Royal House, the Cabinet, the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as other invited guests, such as members of the diplomatic corps. After the closing phrase, the President of the joint sitting cheers "Long live the King!" The members of the House of Representatives then make their way to the Plenary Hall of the House, where the minister of Finance presents his famous "Third-Tuesday-of-September"-briefcase, which contains the National Budget and the Budget Memorandum.