On Friday 17 May 2019, the House of Representatives celebrated the centenary of universal suffrage in the Netherlands in the presence of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima. In addition to members of both houses of Parliament, the festive gathering at the Ridderzaal, the “Hall of Knights” at the parliamentary complex in The Hague, was also attended by people from all over the country with a special involvement with elections and electoral law.
House of Representatives news
With the official handover of the government’s financial reports to the President of the House of Representatives, Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra officially opened Accountability Day on Wednesday 15 May 2019. This annual event, also called the “flip side” of Budget Day, marks the beginning of the months-long process during which the House checks that the government is actually implementing its plans.
From 28 April to 3 May, a delegation from the Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs will visit the United States capital, Washington D.C. The MPs will be brought up to speed on political and social developments in the US as well as on the US government’s international stance.
The border between Ireland and Northern Ireland appears to be the most significant stumbling block in the negotiations on the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union. In order to gain an impression of the consequences of a no-deal Brexit for Ireland and the Irish/Northern Irish border, Dutch members of parliament visited Dublin and the area around the Irish/Northern Irish border.
The upcoming relocation of the House of Representatives to its new interim accommodation at Bezuidenhoutseweg in The Hague dominates the 2020 budget of the House, along with plans to strengthen the parliamentary process
On Tuesday, 19 March 2019, at the beginning of its sitting, the House of Representatives commemorated the victims of the Utrecht attack on Monday, 18 March, and the attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday 15 March. On behalf of the House, the President, Ms Khadija Arib, expressed her sympathy with the victims and their families.
With less than 31 days to go before the United Kingdom leaves the EU, there is also some urgency for the Netherlands to prepare properly for the possible scenarios. In their third Brexit report on behalf of the European Affairs Committee, Anne Mulder, Pieter Omtzigt and Lodewijk Asscher have warned of the consequences of a no-deal scenario, which is becoming increasingly likely. The rapporteurs are calling for additional preparations and measures.
Dick Dolman, former President of the House of Representatives: "face and guardian of parliamentary democracy"
On Thursday 31 January 2019, the House of Representatives commemorated its former President, Dick Dolman, who passed away on Wednesday 23 January at the age of 83. Mr Dolman was President of the House of Representatives from 1979 until 1989. Since 1970 he had been an MP for the Labour Party (PvdA).
On 31 January 2019, European Commissioner Andrus Ansip was the guest of the House of Representatives. From 4 to 5 pm he spoke with the standing committee on the Interior about his approach to fake news.
Visit the exhibition Ik vier mijn stem (I celebrate my vote). It will be open for viewing Monday through Saturday from 10:00 to 17:00 in the Central Passageway, the central hall of the House of Representatives. The exhibition tells the special history of general suffrage and demonstrates that it is still in constant motion.
Is the Dutch parliamentary system in need of adjustment? This is the question that the government committee chaired by Johan Remkes has been addressing throughout the past year. On Thursday 13 December, the committee presented its recommendations in a final report. Earlier this year, on Thursday 21 June 2018, it published an interim report on the status of its investigation.
In the second week of December, a delegation of members of the Dutch House of Representatives attended the UN Climate Summit (COP 24) in the Polish city of Katowice. On Wednesday 12 December, the Economic Affairs and Climate Committee and the Benelux Parliament launched a ‘National Parliaments for EU Climate Ambition’. This was the first meeting of an inter-parliamentary lead group that will focus on EU climate policy. In this lead group, national parliament members from EU member states will discuss the necessity of an ambitious EU climate policy and exchange national developments and challenges relating to climate.
In general, the cabinet-formation process of 2017 proceeded in an orderly fashion, despite is protracted duration. This provides evidence that the procedure as amended in 2012, which is directed by the House of Representatives, can also be applied under difficult circumstances. “This report lays a solid foundation for a subsequent cabinet formation, as well as for a subsequent generation of politicians,” observed Khadija Arib, Speaker of the House of Representatives, who received the first copy of the report on the investigation.
Accidental Americans' situation prompts the Dutch House of Representatives to write to the United States Congress
On Tuesday, 4 September 2018, the Finance Committee of the Dutch House of Representatives sent a letter to the United States Congress in which it expressed its worries about the situation of so-called 'accidental Americans'.
On Thursday, 7 June 2018, Ms S.M. (Simone) Roos was sworn in as Secretary General of the House of Representatives, at the beginning of the afternoon sitting of the House. In its sitting of 29 May 2018, the House of Representatives had approved Simone Roos' appointment as Secretary General, with effect from 11 June 2018.