House of Representatives news

100 Students scrutinise government policy

On Tuesday, 20 May 2019, 100 students from colleges of further education all over the Netherlands came to the House of Representatives today for the annual V-100. This is a citizens’ panel which sits once a year to scrutinise the accountability documents issued by the various ministries in The Hague and to formulate critical questions about government policy. This is the third time that the House has organised a V-100 session.

Celebrating 100 years of universal suffrage in the Ridderzaal

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.

Accountability Day: “You can learn to evaluate”

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.

Parliamentary delegation visits United States

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.

Zicht op het Amerikaanse congres vanaf the Mall.

Report on the visit of Dutch MP’s to Irish border

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.

House of Representatives commemorated Utrecht and New Zealand attacks

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.

Commemoration of Utrecht and New Zealand attacks March 2019 in the House of Representatives

Rapporteurs: additional measures needed to prepare for hard Brexit

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.

House of Commons UK

Exhibition on the 100th anniversary of universal suffrage

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.

The statue of Suze Groeneweg, created by Siemen Bolhuis.

Government Committee for the Parliamentary System publishes final report

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.

Statue of Thorbecke, the founder of parliamentary democracy, on Lange Voorhout in The Hague.

Inter-parliamentary lead group for EU climate policy launched during climate summit in Poland

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.

From left to right: MP Agnes Mulder (CDA), Pieter Terpstra (climate-policy coordinator for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and MP Isabelle Diks (GroenLinks).

Evaluation committee: Cabinet formation proceeded in an orderly fashion

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.

Speaker Khadija Arib receives the first copy of the report on the investigation by the Bovend’Eert Committee