|Houses|| Senate |
House of Representatives
Senate political groups
| Government (32)|
House of Representatives political groups
| Government (75) |
Opposition parties (75)
|Party-list proportional representation|
Senate last election
|27 May 2019|
House of Representatives last election
|15 March 2017|
| Binnenhof |
The Hague, Netherlands
The States General of the Netherlands (Dutch : Staten-Generaal [ˌstaː.tə(n).ɣeː.nəˈraːl] (
The States General originated in the 15th century as an assembly of all the provincial states of the Burgundian Netherlands. In 1579, during the Dutch Revolt, the States General split as the northern provinces openly rebelled against Philip II, and the northern States General replaced Philip II as the supreme authority of the Dutch Republic in 1581. The States General were replaced by the National Assembly after the Batavian Revolution of 1795, only to be restored in 1814, when the country had regained its sovereignty. The States General was divided into a Senate and a House of Representatives in 1815, with the establishment of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. After the constitutional amendment of 1848, members of the House of Representatives were directly elected, and the rights of the States General were vastly extended, practically establishing parliamentary democracy in the Netherlands.
Since 1918, the members of the House of Representatives are elected for four years using party-list proportional representation, while the 75 members of the Senate are elected by the States-Provincial every four years. On exceptional occasions, the two houses form a joint session known as the United Assembly. The President of the Senate serves as President of the States General during a United Assembly. Jan Anthonie Bruijn (VVD) has been President of the Senate since 2019.
The archaic Dutch word staten originally related to the feudal classes ("estates", or standen in Dutch) in which medieval European societies were stratified; the clergy, the nobility and the commons. The word eventually came to mean the political body in which the respective estates were represented. Each province in the Habsburg Netherlands had its own staten. These representative bodies (and not their constituent estates) 5–15 The English word "states" may have a similar meaning as the Dutch word staten, as in e.g. States of Jersey. The English phrases "States General" is probably a literal translation of the Dutch word. Historically, the same term was used for the name of other national legislatures as, for example, the Catalan and Valencian Generalitat and the Estates General of France during the Ancien Régime.in turn were represented in the assembly that came to be known as Staten-Generaal (a plurale tantum), or Algemene Staten (General States). :
Several geographic place names are derived from the States General. In 1609, Henry Hudson established Dutch trade in Staten Island, New York City and named the island Staaten Eylandt after the States General. Isla de los Estados, now an Argentine island, was also named after this institution, the Spanish name being a translation of the Dutch name. Abel Tasman originally gave the name Staten Landt to what would become New Zealand. Staaten River is a river in the Cape York Peninsula, Australia.
Historically, the convocation of the States General consisted of delegates from the States of the several provinces, like the States of Brabant, and dated from about the middle of the 15th century, under the rule of the Dukes of Burgundy. The first important session was the Estates General of 1464 that met on 9 January 1464 in Bruges, Flanders, on the initiative of the States of Holland, the States of Flanders, and the States of Brabant, with the initially reluctant agreement of Philip the Good. 31 Later, regular sessions were held at Coudenberg in Brussels, Brabant. The next important event was the convocation of the States General by the ducal Council for 3 February 1477 after the death of Charles the Bold. In this session the States General forced the grant of the Great Privilege by Mary of Burgundy in which the right of the States General to convene on their own initiative was recognised. :42ff. The main function of the States General in these early years was to form a platform for the central government to discuss matters of general importance with the States of the provinces, especially the special subsidies known as beden or aides. Legislative and executive functions were still reserved for the Sovereign in these years :29,35–36, 97:
At the start of the Dutch Revolt the States General (who were then not continually in session) remained loyal to the overlord of the Habsburg Netherlands, Philip II of Spain (who did not have the title of King in the Netherlands, but held the title of duke and count in the several provinces). In 1576 the States General as a whole, however, openly rebelled against the Spanish crown. In 1579 the States General split as a number of southern provinces, united in the Union of Arras returned to obedience, while other provinces, united in the Union of Utrecht continued the rebellion. 260–268,288–296 After the Act of Abjuration in 1581 the northern States General replaced Philip II as the supreme authority of the northern Netherlands, which then became known as the United Provinces.:
This was a confederation in which most government functions remained with the provincial States (and local authorities, like the Vroedschappen). These delegated representatives to the States General as a kind of ambassadors acting with a mandate limited by instruction and obligatory consultation (last en ruggespraak). The States General, in which the voting was by province, each of the seven provinces having one vote, 305–315 :293–294 The States General for this reason since 1593 remained continually in session until their dissolution in 1795. The presidency rotated weekly among the senior representatives of the provinces. Under the Union of Utrecht treaty the States General formally was the sovereign power, representing the Republic in foreign affairs and making treaties with foreign monarchs. :292–293 As such the honorific title of the States General collectively was Hoogmogende Heren (mightiest, or very mighty, lords).took on many executive functions after the Council of State of the Netherlands had temporarily come under English influence, due to the Treaty of Nonsuch. :
Due to the vagaries of the Eighty Years' War in which territories were lost and (partially) reconquered, not all territories that had originally signed up for the Union of Utrecht remained represented in the States General. The States of Brabant and of Flanders lost their representation after 1587 as most of their territory had been conquered by the Army of Flanders, and it was not restored after part of that territory (together with parts of the Duchy of Limburg) was reconquered by the Dutch Republic. The Drenthe territory was never directly represented in the States General. Twenty per cent of the new Republic's territory, known as the Generality Lands, was so under the direct rule of the Generality (generaliteit). 297–300 The Dutch East India Company and the Dutch West India Company were also under its general supervision; for this reason Staten Island in New York City (originally New Amsterdam) and Staten Island, Argentina (Discovered by Dutchman Jacob le Maire), are among places named after the Staten-Generaal.:
The "southern" States General after 1579 were a continuation of the States General as they had been under the Habsburg Netherlands. After the (re)conquest of most of the territory of the States of Brabant and of Flanders these States again sent representatives to these States General for the Southern Netherlands, together with the "obedient" provinces of the Union of Arras. The southern States General only occasionally came in session, however. The last regular session was in 1634, when Philip IV of Spain dissolved them. 315–321:
The States General in both The Hague and Brussels came to an end after 1795; the South was annexed by France, and the North saw the proclamation of the Batavian Republic and the subsequent convocation of the National Assembly (1 March 1796).
The name Staten-Generaal was resurrected in the title of subsequent Dutch parliaments in and after 1814, after the end of the annexation to the First French Empire by Napoleon I of France in 1813. These had, however, little resemblance to the States General under the Republic. Beginning with the Sovereign Principality of the United Netherlands the States General was a unicameral legislature, without executive functions, in which the 55 representatives no longer represented the States-Provincial (though those newly constituted entities elected them, now acting as electoral colleges), but the entire people of the Netherlands and without last en ruggespraak (the Netherlands had become a unitary state under the Batavian Republic and the federal structure of the Dutch Republic was not restored). 136 The States General became a bicameral legislature under the United Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1815, in which the 50 members of the Senate were appointed for life by the new King from the resurrected ridderschappen, representative bodies of the aristocracy, and the 110 members of the House of Representatives (55 for the North and 55 for the South) were elected by the States-Provincial (in their new form). :138:
After the Belgian Revolution of 1830 under the Kingdom of the Netherlands the States General remained bicameral, but after the revision of the Constitution of the Netherlands in 1848, the (now 39) members of the Senate were elected by the States-Provincial, and the members of the House of Representatives were directly elected in electoral districts (one for every 45,000 electors, so the number of members of that House became variable for a while). The House of Representatives became more powerful at the same time, as it received the important rights of inquiry and amendment, while its budgetary rights were strengthened. Formally, the position of the States General was strengthened, because henceforth the ministers of the Crown became politically accountable to them, making the role of the King largely ceremonial. 142–145:
With the constitutional revision of 1888 the number of members of the House of Representatives was fixed at 100, while the Senate was enlarged to 50 members. The suffrage was enlarged at the same time, but still limited to male citizens possessing a certain wealth. Universal male suffrage would be granted in 1917 and women would receive suffrage in 1919. At this occasion, the electoral system was changed to proportional representation. The States General were suspended from 1940 to 1945, during the German occupation. In 1956 the number of members of the Senate was enlarged to 75, and that of the House of Representatives to 150. 151,153–155, 329:
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
The States General meets in joint session at least once a year, at the opening of the parliamentary year, when the king gives his Speech from the Throne on Prince's Day. On special occasions, such as when a States Generate vote on a marriage of a member of the royal house, an inauguration of the monarch, or the death of a member of the royal house, both houses also meet in a joint session (Verenigde Vergadering), with the President of the Senate presiding. They take place in the Ridderzaal (Hall of Knights) in the Binnenhof, except for the inauguration of the monarch, which occurs in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. The rest of the time, the two chambers sit separately.
Constitutionally, all functions of the parliament are given to both houses, except for the rights of initiative and amendment, which only the Tweede Kamer has. The Joint Session also appoints the monarch if there is no heir to the throne and the regent is unable to exercise his or her powers.
An important question is whether the relationship between cabinet and parliament should be dualistic or monistic. That is, whether ministers and leaders of governing parliamentary parties should prepare important political decisions. According to the dualistic position, members of parliament of governing parties should remain independent of the cabinet. The term 'monism' is used to refer to a stance that important decisions should be prepared by the people of the governing coalition in order to promote political stability.
|№||Name||Born||Party||House of Representatives |
|1||Els Veder-Smit||29 August 1921|| People's Party for |
Freedom and Democracy
|23 February 1967 – 3 January 1978 |
(10 years, 314 days)
|25 August 1981 – 11 June 1991 |
(9 years, 290 days)
|20 years, 239 days||State Secretary for Health|
|2||Hanske Evenhuis-van Essen||30 October 1921||Christian Historical Union||8 June 1977 – 3 June 1986 |
(8 years, 360 days)
|3||Ton van Baars||6 March 1922||Catholic People's Party||15 April 1980 – 10 June 1981 |
(1 year, 56 days)
19 January 1982 – 3 June 1986
(4 years, 135 days)
|5 years, 191 days|
|4||Jan Reehorst||21 March 1923||Labour Party||23 October 1956 – 21 February 1967 |
(10 years, 121 days)
|5||André Mensert Spaanderman||10 October 1924||Democratic Socialists '70||11 May 1971 – 7 July 1971 |
|6||Til Gardeniers-Berendsen||18 February 1925||Catholic People's Party||11 May 1971 – 19 December 1977 |
(6 years, 222 days)
10 June 1981 – 9 September 1981
21 June 1982 – 23 February 1983
|7 years, 195 days||Minister of Health |
Minister of Social Work
|7||Johan Visser||28 October 1925||Labour Party||5 March 1968 – 10 May 1971 |
(3 years, 66 days)
The Dutch coalition government on Monday lost its majority in parliament when an MP who had been expelled from Prime Minister Mark Rutte's party said he would sit as an independent.
There are 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.
The Seventeen Provinces were the Imperial states of the Habsburg Netherlands in the 16th century. They roughly covered the Low Countries; that is, what is now the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and most of the French departments of Nord and Pas-de-Calais (Artois). Also within this area were semi-independent fiefdoms, mainly ecclesiastical ones, such as Liège, Cambrai and Stavelot-Malmedy.
The country of Belgium is divided into three regions. Two of these regions, the Flemish Region or Flanders, and Walloon Region, or Wallonia, are each subdivided into five provinces. The third region, the Brussels Capital Region, is not divided into provinces, as it was originally only a small part of a province itself.
The Senate is the upper house of the States General, the legislature of the Netherlands. Its 75 members are elected on lists by the members of the twelve States-Provincial and three Caribbean electoral colleges for the Senate every four years, within three months of the provincial elections. All provinces and colleges have different electoral weight depending on their population.
The Act of Abjuration is the declaration of independence by many of the provinces of the Netherlands from the allegiance to Philip II of Spain, during the Dutch Revolt.
Henricus Cornelis Maria "Henk" Krol is a Dutch journalist, publisher, entrepreneur, activist, and politician. He is the parliamentary leader of Party for the Future in the House of Representatives and a Member of the House of Representatives since 10 September 2014. He used to be the leader of 50PLUS but left due to disagreements with the rest of the party top. Krol has been the leader of the Party for the Future since 3 May 2020.
In the history of the Low Countries, the Burgundian Netherlands were a number of Imperial and French fiefs ruled in personal union by the House of Valois-Burgundy in the period from 1384 to 1482 and later their Habsburg heirs. They constituted the Northern part of the Burgundian State. The area comprised the major parts of present-day Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Hauts-de-France.
Spanish Netherlands was the name for the Habsburg Netherlands ruled by the Spanish branch of the Habsburgs from 1556 to 1714. They were a collection of States of the Holy Roman Empire in the Low Countries held in personal union by the Spanish Crown. This region comprised most of the modern states of Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as parts of northern France, southern Netherlands, and western Germany with the capital being Brussels.
The Generality Lands, Lands of the Generality or Common Lands were about one fifth of the territories of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, that were directly governed by the States-General. Unlike the seven provinces Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, Overijssel, Friesland and Groningen, these territories had no States-Provincial and were not represented in the central government. From an economic point of view, they were exploited with heavy taxes and levies. As one author puts it: "Back in the Dutch lap, these so-called Generality countries were for a long time governed as a sort of internal colonies, in which Catholics were seen as second-class citizens."
The United Belgian States, also known as the United States of Belgium, was a confederal republic in the Southern Netherlands which was established after the Brabant Revolution. It existed from January to December 1790 as part of the unsuccessful revolt against the Habsburg Emperor, Joseph II.
The Estates, also known as the States, was the assembly of the representatives of the estates of the realm, the divisions of society in feudal times, called together for purposes of deliberation, legislation or taxation. A meeting of the estates that covered an entire kingdom was called an estates general.
The Liberal State Party, "the Freedom League", was a conservative liberal political party in the Netherlands from 1921 to 1948. It is historically linked to the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), a major Dutch political party.
The Historic composition of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands gives an overview of the composition of the House of Representatives of the Dutch parliament. It shows the composition after elections, splits from parties are not included.
A states-provincial is the provincial parliament and legislative assembly in each of the provinces of the Netherlands. It is elected for each province simultaneously once every four years and has the responsibility for matters of sub-national or regional importance. Each states-provincial is directly elected by the voters within the relevant province, and the number of seats in each states-provincial is proportional to its population.
Gerardus Johannes Maria "Gerrit" Braks was a Dutch politician of the defunct Catholic People's Party (KVP) and later the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party and agronomist.
Magdalena Antoinette Maria 'Marleen' Barth is a Dutch politician of the Labour Party (PvdA) and trade unionist, and a former journalist.
The Dutch Republic Lion was the badge of the Union of Utrecht, the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands and is a precursor of the current coat of arms of the Kingdom the Netherlands.
The Sovereign Principality of the United Netherlands was a short-lived sovereign principality and the precursor of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, in which it was reunited with the Southern Netherlands in 1815. The principality was proclaimed in 1813 when the victors of the Napoleonic Wars established a political reorganisation of Europe, which would eventually be defined by the Congress of Vienna.
Arie "Aar" de Goede was a Dutch politician of the Democrats 66 (D66) party. He served in the House of Representatives (1967–1973), European Parliament (1979–1984) and Senate (1986–1987). As part of the executive he was State Secretary of Finance between 1973 and 1977.