|Prime Minister of the Netherlands |
Minister-president van Nederland
State Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
|Ministry of General Affairs|
|Member of|| Council of Ministers |
|Residence||Catshuis, The Hague, Netherlands|
|Seat||Torentje, The Hague, Netherlands|
|Appointer|| Willem-Alexander |
as King of the Netherlands
|Term length||4 years|
No term limit
|Formation||25 March 1848|
as Chairman of the Council of Ministers
24 June 1945
|First holder|| Gerrit Schimmelpenninck |
as Chairman of the Council of Ministers
|Deputy||Deputy Prime Minister|
|Salary||€144,000 (incl. €7,887.24 expenses)|
|Website||Ministry of General Affairs|
The Prime Minister of the Netherlands (Dutch : Minister-president van Nederland) is the head of the executive branch of the Government of the Netherlands in his capacity as chair of the Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister is de facto the head of government of the Netherlands and coordinates its policy with his cabinet. The current Dutch Prime Minister is Mark Rutte, in office since 2010.
The Council of Ministers is the executive council of Dutch government, formed by all the ministers including the Deputy Prime Ministers. This executive council initiates laws and policy. The Council of Ministers is distinct from the cabinet which also includes state secretaries. State secretaries do not attend the Council of Ministers unless they are requested to do so and they do not have voting rights.
The head of government is either the highest or second highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, who often presides over a cabinet, a group of ministers or secretaries who lead executive departments. "Head of government" is often differentiated from "head of state", as they may be separate positions, individuals, or roles depending on the country.
Although the Prime Minister is the leading political figure in the Netherlands, he is not as powerful as the British Prime Minister and the German Chancellor. This is mainly because, historically, all Dutch ministers used to be responsible to the Monarch; ministers took turns to fill the position of Prime Minister, and in the role had little if any control over the other ministers. The Prime Minister's role gained importance when ministers became responsible to the parliament, and the position became mostly reserved for the leader of the biggest political party in the House of Representatives. Still, because the position holds limited powers compared to its equivalent in other neighboring parliamentary democracies, the Prime Minister role is described as primus inter pares ("first among equals").
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, until 1801 known as the Prime Minister of Great Britain, is the head of government of the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister directs both the executive and the legislature, and together with their Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Monarch, to Parliament, to their political party and ultimately to the electorate. The office of Prime Minister is one of the Great Offices of State. The current holder of the office, Theresa May, leader of the Conservative Party, was appointed by the Queen on 13 July 2016.
The House of Representatives is the lower house of the bicameral parliament of the Netherlands, the States General, the other one being the Senate. It has 150 seats which are filled through elections using a party-list proportional representation. It sits in the Binnenhof in The Hague.
Primus inter pares is a Latin phrase meaning first among equals. It is typically used as an honorary title for someone who is formally equal to other members of their group but is accorded unofficial respect, traditionally owing to their seniority in office. Historically, the princeps senatus of the Roman Senate was such a figure and initially bore only the distinction that he was allowed to speak first during debate. Also, Constantine the Great was given the role of primus inter pares. However, the term is also often used ironically or self-deprecatingly by leaders with much higher status as a form of respect, camaraderie, or propaganda. After the fall of the Republic, Roman emperors initially referred to themselves only as princeps despite having power of life and death over their "fellow citizens". Various modern figures such as the Chair of the United States Federal Reserve System, the prime minister of parliamentary countries, the Federal President of Switzerland, the Chief Justice of the United States, the Chief Justice of the Philippines, the Archbishop of Canterbury of the Anglican Communion and the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church fall under both senses: bearing higher status and various additional powers while remaining still merely equal to their peers in important senses.
Following the constitutional review of 1983, the position of Prime Minister was formalized in the Dutch Constitution for the first time.According to the Constitution of the Netherlands, the Government is constituted by the King and the ministers. The Constitution stipulates that the Prime Minister chairs the Council of Ministers (article 45) and is appointed by royal decree (article 43). The royal decree of their own appointment and those of the other ministers are to be countersigned by the Prime Minister (article 48). The Council of Ministers is no longer nowadays attended by the King.
The Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands is one of two fundamental documents governing the Kingdom of the Netherlands as well as the fundamental law of the European territory of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is generally seen as directly derived from the one issued in 1815, constituting a constitutional monarchy; it is the third oldest constitution still in use worldwide.
The Prime Minister chairs the weekly meetings of the Council of Ministers and has the power to set the agenda of these meetings. The prime minister is also Minister of General Affairs (Minister van Algemene Zaken), which takes an important role in coordinating policy and is responsible for the Government Information Service (Dutch: Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst). The Prime Minister is also responsible for the royal house and has a weekly meeting with the King on government policy. Informally the Prime Minister functions as the "face" of the cabinet to the public. After the meetings of the cabinet on Friday, the Prime Minister hosts a press conference on the decisions of the cabinet and current affairs. The Prime Minister also has some functions in international affairs, attending the European Council every six months and maintaining bilateral contacts. The Prime Minister's office is a hexagon shaped tower, named "The Little Tower" (Torentje), in the Binnenhof in The Hague. The official residence (which is only used for official functions) is the Catshuis; the last Prime Minister to live in the Catshuis was Dries van Agt. Incumbent Mark Rutte lives in a flat downtown The Hague. The Prime Minister has no security detail.
The Ministry of General Affairs is the Dutch Ministry responsible for Government policy, Planning, Information and the Dutch royal house. The Ministry was created in 1937 and dissolved in 1945, but in 1947 it was reinstated by then Prime Minister Louis Beel. The Ministry remained small until 1967, when it was greatly expanded by then Prime Minister Piet de Jong. Since his premiership the Ministry has continued to expand to the present day. The Minister of General Affairs is the head of the Ministry who is also Prime Minister and a member of the Cabinet of the Netherlands. The current Minister and Prime Minister is Mark Rutte.
The monarchy of the Netherlands is constitutional and, as such, the role and position of the monarch are defined and limited by the Constitution of the Netherlands. Consequently, a fairly large portion of the Dutch Constitution is devoted to the monarch; roughly a third of the document describes the succession, mechanisms of accession and abdication to the throne, the roles and responsibilities of the monarch and the formalities of communication between the Staten-Generaal and the role of the monarch in the creation of laws.
The European Council is a collective body that defines the European Union's overall political direction and priorities. It comprises the heads of state or government of the EU member states, along with the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission. The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy also takes part in its meetings. Established as an informal summit in 1975, the European Council was formalised as an institution in 2009 upon the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon. Its current president is Donald Tusk, former Prime Minister of Poland.
Although the Prime Minister is almost always the political leader of his party and a member of the House of Representatives, he is required to give up his seat for the duration of his tenure, as Dutch ministers are not allowed to be members of parliament.
The Dutch electoral system makes it all but impossible for one party to win an outright majority in the House of Representatives; no party has done so since 1900. Hence, Dutch governments are always coalitions between two or more parties. After each election, the House appoints a "scout" to seek advice on how to interpret the election results. On the basis of this advice, the House appoints an informateur to check on prospective coalitions and lead negotiations between potential partners. If successful, the House then appoints a formateur, who concludes the talks between the members of the prospective coalition. The formateur is almost always the leader of the largest party in the prospective coalition, and thus de facto Prime Minister-designate. Prior to 2012, the monarch had a considerable role in these talks, but reforms in 2012 largely eliminated royal influence on the process.
A formateur is a politician who is appointed to lead the formation of a coalition government, after either a general election or the collapse of a previous government. The role of the formateur is especially important in the politics of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Israel and the Czech Republic. These countries have a parliamentary system, where the executive is elected by the legislature. They also use proportional representation for elections to parliament, and have a multiparty system that makes it improbable for one party to win an outright majority. There may be several combinations of parties which might form a coalition. The Formateur is traditionally appointed by the head of state but in the Netherlands that became the right of the Speaker of the Lower house in the early 21st century.
It usually takes several months of negotiations before a formateur is ready to accept a formal royal invitation to form a government. The monarch then appoints the ministers and state secretaries (junior ministers), who then resign their seats in the House.
A minister from the smaller coalition party usually becomes Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands. If there is a third or fourth party in the coalition, each has the right to name one of its ministers second and third Deputy Prime Minister.
The Vice Minister-President of the Netherlands, commonly referred to in English as the Deputy Prime Minister, is the official deputy of the head of government of the Netherlands. In the absence of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands the Deputy Prime Minister takes over his functions, such as chairing the Cabinet of the Netherlands and the Council of Ministers of the Netherlands. Conventionally, all of the junior partners in the coalition get one deputy, and the deputies are ranked according to the size of their respective parties. The incumbent Deputy Prime Ministers are Hugo de Jonge, Kajsa Ollongren and Carola Schouten (ChristianUnion).
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politics and government of
For a list of historic Prime Ministers, see List of Prime Ministers of the Netherlands.For a list of Prime Ministers by age, see List of Prime Ministers of the Netherlands by age.For a list of Prime Ministers by religious affiliations, see Religious affiliations of Prime Ministers of the Netherlands.
Gradually the Prime Minister became an official function of government leader, taken by the political leader of the largest party. Since 1848 the role of the first minister has become relevant. In that year the Constitution of the Netherlands was amended to make ministers responsible to the States General rather than – as hitherto – being responsible to the King, who acted as the leader of cabinet. Until 1901 the position chair of the Council of Ministers officially rotated between ministers. Between 1901 and 1945 the position formally still rotated but prominent politicians were able to claim a rotation period of four years.
In 1937 a separate Ministry of General Affairs was instituted which was informally linked to the Prime Minister. Barend Biesheuvel (1971–1973) was the last Prime Minister who was not the political leader of the largest party in cabinet, but actually of the third largest. In 1983 the function of Prime Minister was laid down in the constitution.
The position of the Prime Minister has been enforced by the creation of the European Council.In November 2006, the rules of procedure of the council of ministers was changed to allow the Prime Minister to put any item on the agenda of the council, whereas before he had to wait for a minister to take the initiative. A change of the rules of procedure of the cabinet in July 2008 allowed the Prime Minister to direct other ministers on the costs of the Royal House, which are covered by several ministries.
As of October 2018 [update] , there are three Prime Ministers of the Netherlands currently living, the oldest being Dries van Agt. The most recent former Prime Minister to die was Wim Kok who served 1994–2002 and died on 20 October 2018 at the age of 80 years, 21 days.
The Prime Minister is also Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and therefore also deals with matters affecting the other countries Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten in the Kingdom. The independent cabinets of Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten also have their own prime ministers: Evelyn Wever-Croes (Prime Minister of Aruba), Eugene Rhuggenaath (Prime Minister of Curaçao), and Leona Marlin-Romeo (Prime Minister of Sint Maarten). The Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of the Netherlands includes Minister Plenipotentiary from the other countries of the Kingdom. These are not included in the government of the Kingdom.
The King appoints Deputy Prime Ministers. Conventionally, all of the junior partners in the coalition get one Deputy Prime Minister; they are ranked according to the size of their respective parties. The senior deputy present chairs the cabinet meeting when the Prime minister is not present. In the current Third Rutte cabinet, Hugo de Jonge chairs those meetings as first Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands, with the other deputies being Kajsa Ollongren and Carola Schouten. The oldest member of the cabinet chairs the meeting when the Prime Minister and all deputies are absent.
The politics of the Netherlands take place within the framework of a parliamentary representative democracy, a constitutional monarchy and a decentralised unitary state. The Netherlands is described as a consociational state. Dutch politics and governance are characterised by a common striving for broad consensus on important issues, within both of the political community and society as a whole.
Jan Pieter "Jan Peter" Balkenende Jr. is a retired Dutch politician of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party and jurist who served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 22 July 2002 to 14 October 2010.
The Christian Democratic Appeal is a Christian-democratic political party in the Netherlands. The CDA was originally formed in 1977 from a confederation of the Catholic People's Party, the Anti-Revolutionary Party and the Christian Historical Union, and has participated in all but three governments since then. Sybrand van Haersma Buma has been the Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal since 18 May 2012.
Andreas Antonius Maria "Dries" van Agt is a retired Dutch politician and diplomat of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party and jurist who served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 19 December 1977 until 4 November 1982.
The cabinet of the Netherlands is the main executive body of the Netherlands. The current cabinet of the Netherlands is the Third Rutte cabinet, which has been in power since 26 October 2017. It is headed by Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his deputies Hugo de Jonge, Kajsa Ollongren and Carola Schouten.
The First Lubbers cabinet was the cabinet of the Netherlands from 4 November 1982 until 14 July 1986. The cabinet was formed by the political parties Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) after the election of 1982. The right-wing cabinet was a majority government in the House of Representatives. It was the first of three cabinets of Ruud Lubbers (CDA) as Prime Minister, with Gijs van Aardenne of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy serving as Deputy Prime Minister.
The Third Van Agt cabinet was the cabinet of the Netherlands from 29 May 1982 until 4 November 1982 The cabinet was formed by the political parties Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and the Democrats 66 (D'60) following the fall of the Second Van Agt cabinet on 12 May 1982. The centre rump cabinet served as a caretaker government until the election of 1982. It was the last of three cabinets of Dries van Agt, the Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal as Prime Minister, with Jan Terlouw, the Leader of the Democrats 66 serving as Deputy Prime Minister.
The Second Van Agt cabinet was the cabinet of the Netherlands from 11 September 1981 until 29 May 1982. The cabinet was formed by the political parties Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), Labour Party (PvdA) and the Democrats 66 (D'66) after the election of 1981. The centre-left grand coalition cabinet was a majority government in the House of Representatives. It was the second of three cabinets of Dries van Agt, the Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal as Prime Minister, with Joop den Uyl the Leader of the Labour Party and Jan Terlouw the Leader of the Democrats 66 serving as Deputy Prime Ministers.
The First Van Agt cabinet, also called the Van Agt–Wiegel cabinet was the cabinet of the Netherlands from 19 December 1977 until 11 September 1981. The cabinet was formed by the political parties Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) after the election of 1977. The right-wing cabinet was a majority government in the House of Representatives. The Van Agt–Wiegel cabinet was the first to be composed of the newly formed Christian Democratic Appeal, which was formed from the Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP), the Catholic People's Party (KVP) and the Christian Historical Union (CHU) on 11 October 1980. It was the first of three cabinets of Dries van Agt, the Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal as Prime Minister, with Hans Wiegel the Leader of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy serving as Deputy Prime Minister.
Mark Rutte is a Dutch politician serving as the 50th and current Prime Minister of the Netherlands since 2010 and Leader of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy since 2006. Rutte was previously appointed as State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment from 22 July 2002 to 17 June 2004 and as State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science from 17 June 2004 until 27 June 2006, when he was elected to succeed Jozias van Aartsen as the new VVD Leader.
Maxime Jacques Marcel Verhagen is a retired Dutch politician of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party and businessman. He is the chairman of the Construction association since 1 July 2013 and a Member of the Social and Economic Council since 1 October 2015.
The Fourth Balkenende cabinet was the cabinet of the Netherlands from 22 February 2007 until 14 October 2010. The cabinet was formed by the political parties Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), Labour Party (PvdA) and the Christian Union (CU) after the election of 2006. The centre-left grand coalition cabinet was a majority government in the House of Representatives.
The Council of Ministers of the Kingdom is the executive council of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which is a state consisting of four constituent countries: Aruba, Curaçao, the Netherlands, and Sint Maarten. The Council of Ministers of the Kingdom consists of the Council of Ministers of the Netherlands complemented by one Minister Plenipotentiary of Aruba, one Minister Plenipotentiary of Curaçao, and one Minister Plenipotentiary of Sint Maarten. The Prime Minister of the Netherlands chairs the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom. Together with the King, the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom forms the Government of the Kingdom, also known as the Crown.
The formation of a Dutch cabinet is the process of negotiating an agreement that will get majority support in parliament for the appointment of the council of ministers and gives sufficient confidence that agreed policies will be supported by parliament. Dutch cabinet formations tend to be a time consuming process, and is for the most part not codified in the constitution.
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