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In the Netherlands, from the entry into force of the Advisory Referendum Act(Wet raadgevend referendum) on 1 July 2015, until its repeal on 18 February 2018, most types of primary laws could be subjected to a suspensory, non-binding referendum if requested shortly after royal assent and subsequent proclamation. If a law was rejected by more than half of the votes cast, with a mandatory turnout of at least 30%, its entry into force was be suspended indefinitely and a follow-up law had to be enacted that either repealed the law or provided for its entry into force.
The Netherlands, sometimes incorrectly called Holland, is a country located in Northwestern Europe with some overseas territories in the Caribbean. In Europe, it consists of 12 provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with those countries and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba—it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian. In the northern parts of the country, Low German is also spoken.
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is invited to vote on a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new law. In some countries, it is synonymous with a plebiscite or a vote on a ballot question.
Royal assent is the method by which a monarch formally approves an act of the legislature. In some jurisdictions, royal assent is equivalent to promulgation, while in others that is a separate step. Under a modern constitutional monarchy royal assent is considered to be little more than a formality; even in those nations which still, in theory, permit the monarch to withhold assent to laws, the monarch almost never does so, save in a dire political emergency or upon the advice of their government. While the power to veto a law by withholding royal assent was once exercised often by European monarchs, such an occurrence has been very rare since the eighteenth century.
The Dutch Constitution has no provisions on referendums, which means that any referendum held at a national or local level cannot be binding as long as the Constitution gives primacy to legislatures. The first reading of a constitutional amendment to introduce a binding, abrogative referendum at national, provincial, municipal and water-board level was completed on 15 October 2014. The second reading cannot not take place until after the next general election and will require a two-thirds majority in both chambers of the States General. A previous attempt failed in May 1999 when the bill was rejected in second reading in the Senate due to VVD Senator Hans Wiegel rebelling against his own party.
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.
There are currently twelve provinces of the Netherlands, representing the administrative layer between the national government and the local municipalities, with responsibility for matters of subnational or regional importance.
Dutch water boards are regional government bodies charged with managing water barriers, waterways, water levels, water quality and sewage treatment in their respective regions. These regional water authorities are among the oldest forms of local government in the Netherlands, some of them having been founded in the 13th century.
Since the constitutional referendum of the Batavian Republic in 1805, only three referendums have been held. The first was the consultative, ad hoc referendum on the European Constitution in 2005. The second was the referendum on the ratification of the Ukraine–EU Association Agreement on 6 April 2016, which was the first referendum under the Advisory Referendum Act. On 21 March 2018, the 2018 Dutch Intelligence and Security Services Act referendum was held.
A constitutional referendum was held in the Batavian Republic on 16 October 1805. Although a new constitution had been approved in an 1801 referendums, the French authorities put pressure on the Batavian State Council to pass a new constitution in which executive power was held by a single person, the Grand pensionary, a post initially filled by Rutger Jan Schimmelpenninck. The new constitution had 87 articles, which provided for a 19-seat Parliament with a three-year term which could pass or reject bills, but not change them. It was approved by 99.96% of voters.
A consultative referendum on the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe was held in the Netherlands on 1 June 2005 to decide whether the government should ratify the proposed Constitution of the European Union. The result was a "No"-vote.
The Dutch Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement referendum was a referendum on the approval of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine, held in the Netherlands on 6 April 2016. The referendum question was: "Are you for or against the Approval Act of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine?"
In the Netherlands, bills are generally submitted by the Government, but also individual members of the House of Representatives have the right to introduce bills. In 2005, Members of Parliament Niesco Dubbelboer (Labour), Wijnand Duyvendak (GreenLeft) and Boris van der Ham (Democrats 66) introduced the bill that would become the Advisory Referendum Act. Its accompanying explanatory memorandum started with a quote of former US president Theodore Roosevelt: "I believe in the [...] referendum, which should be used not to destroy representative government, but to correct it whenever it becomes misrepresentative."The bill's initial sponsors were succeeded by Paul Kalma (Labour), Femke Halsema (GreenLeft), Pierre Heijnen (Labour), Jolande Sap (GreenLeft), Linda Voortman (GreenLeft), Gerard Schouw (Democrats 66) and Manon Fokke (Labour) before it was adopted by both chambers.
A bill is proposed legislation under consideration by a legislature. A bill does not become law until it is passed by the legislature and, in most cases, approved by the executive. Once a bill has been enacted into law, it is called an act of the legislature, or a statute. Bills are introduced in the legislature and are discussed, debated and voted upon.
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.
The Labour Party is a social-democratic political party in the Netherlands.
The bill passed the House of Representatives on 14 February 2013 with 98 votes in favour and 52 against. All parties except the coalition party People's Party for Freedom and Democracy and the three Christian parties – Christian Democratic Appeal, ChristianUnion and the Reformed Political Party – voted in favour.In the Senate, the opposing votes came from the same four parties and the bill passed with 45 votes in favour and 30 against. It was signed into law on 30 September 2014 and entered into force on 1 July 2015.
The People's Party for Freedom and Democracy is a conservative-liberal political party in the Netherlands.
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.
The Reformed Political Party is an orthodox Calvinist political party in the Netherlands. The term Reformed is not a reference to political reform but is a synonym for Calvinism—a major branch of Protestantism. The SGP is the oldest political party in the Netherlands in its current form, and has for its entire existence been in opposition. The party has, owing to its orthodox political ideals and its traditional role in the opposition, been called a testimonial party. Since the general election of 2017, it has held 3 of the 150 seats of the House of Representatives.
In 2018 however, both the assembly and senate voted to repeal the referendum law
A referendum can be requested for any piece of primary legislation, including treaty ratifications, after it was signed into law and published in the Staatscourant , but generally before it enters into force (subject to exceptions). The law excludes several subjects, such as laws concerning: the monarchy or royal family, the national budget, constitutional amendments, legislation passed solely for the execution of treaties or decisions of intergovernmental organisations, Kingdom acts (unless they will solely apply to the Netherlands) and legislation passed in response to a previous referendum.
The request procedure of a referendum consists of two stages. For the preliminary request, 10,000 requests have to be received within four weeks after proclamation of the law. Upon completion of this stage, the provisions concerning entry into force of the law in question are suspended until the procedure has come to an end. For the definitive request, 300,000 requests have to be received within six weeks after the completion of the preliminary request. If this is not successful, the 30% turnout has not been met or the law is approved, then the law can enter into effect by royal decree. If the law is rejected, then the suspension is indefinite and a follow-up law must be enacted that either repeals the law or overrides the suspended provisions to let the law enter into force after all.
A referendum commission is appointed by the government every four years. The commission decides the referendum date and question, subsidies for campaigns ("for" as well as "against") and gives neutral information on the referendum question. On 1 October 2015 the first referendum commission was installed. It is chaired by Medy van der Laan, and further consists of A.B. Blomberg, Willemien Den Ouden, Ruud Koole and Reint Jan Renes.
The Advisory Referendum Act has been criticised for its turnout requirement. Senior lecturer Casper Albers from the University of Groningen argued that the requirement would lead to an " player" variant of the prisoner's dilemma. Due to the turnout requirement, proponents can choose whether to vote to achieve the desired outcome, whereas opponents must vote. This consideration can affect the outcome if proponents contribute decisively to the turnout and a majority votes against.
In the run-up to the Ukraine–EU Association Agreement referendum in 2016, some analysts estimated that the turnout would be around 30%, expressing doubt that the requirement would be met.The referendum had a turnout of 32.28% with a majority of 61% against. Minister of the Interior Ronald Plasterk committed to an evaluation of the Act.
As of October 2017, 2 acts have received enough preliminary requests (>10,000) to move to the definitive request stage. For one act sufficient definitive requests were obtained (>300,000) for a referendum. A list of acts for which more than 50 preliminary requests were received is shown below.
threshold = 10,000
threshold = 300,000
|EU-Ukraine Association Agreement||2015||13,480 (valid requests)||429,939 (valid requests)|
|EU-Moldova Association Agreement||2015||100||n.a.|
|EU-Georgia Association Agreement||2015||98||n.a.|
|Denunciation of the Dutch-Moroccan Social Security Treaty||2016||1,971||n.a.|
|Intelligence and Security Services Act 2017||2017||17,162 (valid requests)||384,126 (valid requests)|
|Dutch EU-Ukraine Association Agreement referendum|
| Dutch: Bent u voor of tegen de wet tot goedkeuring van de Associatieovereenkomst tussen de Europese Unie en Oekraïne?|
Are you for or against the Approval Act of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine?
|Date||6 April 2016|
The first referendum held based on the Consultative Referendum Act concerned the approval act of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine and was held in on 6 April 2016. The referendum question was: "Are you for or against the Approval Act of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine?"
With a turnout of 32.28%, the threshold for a valid referendum was met. 61% of the votes cast were against the Approval Act, but accounted for only 19.5% of eligible voters. As the Act was rejected, the States General had to enact a follow-up law to either repeal the Act or put it into effect after all. Following the vote, the government secured an additional agreement between the 28 Member States of the European Union addressing what were according to the government the concerns of the no-vote in December 2017. The additional agreement did not change the association agreement and neither Ukraine nor the European Union or Euratom were parties to the additional agreement.Following the approval of the additional agreement, a new law was passed approving the Assocication Agreement in May 2017, enabling the Netherlands to deposit its instrument of ratification on 15 June 2017. The association agreement entered into force on 1 September 2017.
Before 2015, there was no permanent provision in law for a referendum. However, from 2002 until 2005, a Temporary Referendum Act in place, which allowed for non-binding referendums, known in Dutch as volksraadpleging ("people's consultation"), to be organised for laws already approved by the House of Representatives. No referendum was called based on this law.
In order to hold the 2005 referendum on the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, a different law was temporarily put in place. That referendum was the first national referendum in the Netherlands since the 1805 referendum in the Batavian Republic, and it was the result of an initiative proposal by parliamentarians Farah Karimi (GreenLeft), Niesco Dubbelboer (Labour) and Boris van der Ham (Democrats 66), who also initiated the Consultative Referendum Act.
Same-sex marriage in Belgium has been legal since 1 June 2003. A bill for legalization was passed by the Senate on 28 November 2002, and by the Chamber of Representatives on 30 January 2003. It entered into force on 1 June, after King Albert II gave his assent. Belgium became the second country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage, after the Netherlands. "Statutory cohabitation", open to any two legally consenting cohabiting persons, has been possible since 1 January 2000.
Same-sex marriages are not performed in Aruba, Curaçao, or Sint Maarten, which are constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The islands were, however, obliged after several court rulings to register any marriage registered in the Kingdom, but they do not have to give same-sex marriages the same legal effect as opposite-sex marriages. As marriage in the European territory of the Netherlands, as well as in Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba is open to any two people, marriages performed there have to be registered in the islands.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights in Belgium are seen as some of the most progressive in Europe and in the world. Same-sex sexual activity was legalised in 1795, with an equal age of consent, except from 1965 until 1985. After granting same-sex couples domestic partnership benefits in 2000, Belgium became the second country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage in 2003. Same-sex adoption was fully legalised in 2006 and was equalised with that of heterosexual adoption. Lesbian couples can get access to IVF as well. Discrimination protections based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, and public and private accommodations were enacted in 2003 and on gender identity and expression in 2014. Transgender people have been allowed to change their legal gender since 2007, though under certain circumstances, which were repealed in 2018.
Ronald Hans Anton Plasterk is a retired Dutch politician of the Labour Party (PvdA) scientist and entrepreneur.
Georgia and the European Union have maintained relations since 1996 in the INOGATE framework, and in 2006 a five-year "Action Plan" of rapprochement was implemented in the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). A more comprehensive Association Agreement entered into force on 1 July 2016. A European Union Monitoring Mission was sent to Georgia in the wake of the 2008 South Ossetia war.
The Netherlands Antilles was an autonomous Caribbean country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It was dissolved on 10 October 2010.
Constantinus Albertus Josephus Maria "Constantijn" Kortmann was a Dutch professor of constitutional law.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands, commonly known as the Netherlands, is a sovereign state and constitutional monarchy with the large majority of its territory in Western Europe and with several small island territories in the Caribbean Sea, in the West Indies islands.
Boris van der Ham is a Dutch writer, humanist, former politician, and actor. On 23 May 2002, he became a member of the House of Representatives for the Democrats 66, a social liberal party. Since 24 November 2012, he has been the chairman of the Humanistisch Verbond.
The Caribbean Netherlands are the three special municipalities of the Netherlands that are located in the Caribbean Sea. They consist of the islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, although the term "Caribbean Netherlands" is sometimes used to refer to all of the islands in the Dutch Caribbean. In legislation, the three islands are also known as the BES islands. The islands are currently classified as public bodies in the Netherlands and as overseas countries and territories of the European Union; thus, EU law does not automatically apply.
The Convention on the association of the Netherlands Antilles with the European Economic Community is an international agreement amending the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community, with the aim of awarding OCT status to the Netherlands Antilles, which was a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands from 1954 until 2010. A full treaty revision was needed because Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, and Luxembourg wanted to add a protocol on the import of refined petroleum products from the Netherlands Antilles.
The Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement is a European Union Association Agreement between the European Union (EU), Euratom, Ukraine and the EU's 28 member states. It establishes a political and economic association between the parties. The agreement entered into force on September 1, 2017, and previously parts had been provisionally applied. The parties committed to co-operate and converge economic policy, legislation, and regulation across a broad range of areas, including equal rights for workers, steps towards visa-free movement of people, the exchange of information and staff in the area of justice, the modernisation of Ukraine's energy infrastructure, and access to the European Investment Bank. The parties committed to regular summit meetings, and meetings among ministers, other officials, and experts. The agreement furthermore establishes a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area between the parties.
Thierry Henri Philippe Baudet, Ph.D., is a Dutch lawyer, historian, writer, musician and politician. Having become widely known in his late twenties as a columnist for the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad and a pundit on radio and TV, he finished his Ph.D. thesis under the supervision of the British philosopher Roger Scruton at the age of 29 in 2012. Two years later, in 2014, he founded an independent thinktank, the Forum for Democracy, and then turned it into a political party in 2016. A member of the House of Representatives since 2017, he was named Politician of the Year by EenVandaag and led his party to electoral victory in March 2019 when FVD topped the nationwide polls in the Provincial and Senate elections. Baudet has published ten books and is a regular contributor to several international magazines, such as the Swiss Weltwoche and American Affairs.
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This article summarises referendum laws and practice in various countries.
The Moldova–European Union Association Agreement is a treaty between the European Union (EU), Euratom, their 28 Member States and Moldova that establishes a political and economic association between the two parties.
Forum for Democracy is a conservative, right-wing populist Eurosceptic political party in the Netherlands, founded as a think tank by Thierry Baudet, who has been the party's leader since its founding in late 2016. The party first participated in elections in the 2017 general election, winning two seats in the House of Representatives. In the 2019 provincial elections, FvD won the most seats.
A consultative referendum on the Intelligence and Security Services Act 2017 was held in the Netherlands on 21 March 2018 alongside with the municipal elections. It was the second referendum to be held under the Dutch Consultative Referendum Act after the 2016 Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement referendum.
The European Parliament election of 2019 in Belgium was held on 26 May 2019 in the three Belgian constituencies: the Dutch-speaking electoral college, the French-speaking electoral college and the German-speaking electoral college.
Bent u voor of tegen de wet tot goedkeuring van de Associatieovereenkomst tussen de Europese Unie en Oekraïne? [TRANS] Are you for or against the ratification of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine?