The temporary accommodation of the House of Representatives was officially opened on Tuesday, 7 September, the first day of sittings after the summer recess. During a short ceremony, Speaker of the House Vera Bergkamp marked this moment with a speech, followed by the official opening.
“For the first time in its history, the House of Representatives is installed outside the historic environment in which it was formed; a stone’s throw from the Binnenhof, in an excellent accommodation,” said Speaker Bergkamp in her speech for the opening ceremony. “The building is a pleasant mix of the familiar and the new.” The official opening was done with the push of a button, which activated a stopwatch that will keep track of how long the House of Representatives resides in the temporary accommodation.
“I mark the duration of our unique stay in this building with a clock. On the one hand, to call attention to the special time that we are permitted to spend here together and, on the other, to remind us that this is temporary!” the Speaker explained the opening rite.
A film about the relocation was shown as part of the programme and there was a panel discussion with, among others, Joost Vullings, chair of the Parliamentary Press Association, VVD MP Jacqueline van den Hil, Rolf van den Heuvel of ProDemos and SGP MP Kees van der Staaij. Fifty people attended the official opening of the building, including members of the public who registered for the event on various social media. The programme was also available on a livestream on this website and can be watched again at Debat Gemist (‘Parliament TV Archive’).
The opening ceremony took place in the Central Passageway, the public hall of the building. The House of Representatives will be residing in the building at Bezuidenhoutseweg during the coming years due to the renovation of the Binnenhof.
First sitting after summer recess
Tuesday, 7 September is also the first day that the House of Representatives meets in the new building. Read more about the first Question Time and plenary debate in B67.