The third Tuesday of September is Prince's Day (Prinsjesdag) in the Netherlands. Prince's Day is the most important day in the Dutch parliamentary year. On Tuesday 20 September at 3 pm, the minister of Finance, mr. De Jager, will present the famous “Third-Tuesday-of-September”-briefcase, which contains the National Budget and the Budget Memorandum.
A national holiday in former days – celebrating the Prince of Orange’s birthday (hence its name) –Prinsjesdag nowadays is the most important day of the parliamentary year. The government sets out its plans for the coming year in the so-called Queen’s Speech (de Troonrede) and the Budget Memorandum.
The Queen’s Speech
Every year on Prince's Day, Queen Beatrix travels in the Golden Coach from the Noordeinde Palace to the Hall of Knights in The Hague. There she, as head of state and member of the government, delivers the so-called Queen’s Speech before a joint meeting of both chambers of the Dutch parliament, unveiling the government’s legislative programme for the coming year.
Budget Memorandum and National Budget
After the official state ceremony in the Hall of Knights the Minister of Finance will present his famous “Third-Tuesday-of-September”-briefcase to the President of the House of Representatives, in the plenary meeting hall of the House. This briefcase contains the Budget Memorandum and the National Budget. The latter consists of a number of bills (one for each ministry) with regard to national expenditure, obligations and national revenue for the coming year.
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