Government of Amsterdam

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The Government of Amsterdam consists of several territorial and functional forms of local and regional government. The principle form of government is the municipality of Amsterdam, Netherlands. The municipality's territory covers the city of Amsterdam as well as a number of small towns. The city of Amsterdam is also part of several functional forms of regional government. These include the Waterschap (water board) of Amstel, Gooi en Vecht, which is responsible for water management, and the Stadsregio (City Region) of Amsterdam, which has responsibilities in the areas of spatial planning and public transport.

The municipality of Amsterdam borders the municipalities of Diemen, Weesp, Abcoude, Ouder-Amstel and Amstelveen in the south, Haarlemmermeer and Haarlemmerliede en Spaarnwoude in the west, and Zaanstad, Oostzaan, Landsmeer and Waterland in the north.

Municipal government[edit]

Eberhard van der Laan, mayor of Amsterdam since 2010. Photograph taken in the plenary room of the Amsterdam municipal council.
Amsterdam alderpersons at their installation in 2006 from left to right: Tjeerd Herrema, Maarten van Poelgeest, Marijke Vos, Carolien Gehrels, Ahmed Aboutaleb and Lodewijk Asscher.

The city of Amsterdam is a municipality under the Dutch Municipalities Act. It is governed by a municipal council (gemeenteraad, also known as 'city council', the principle legislative authority), a municipal executive board (college van burgemeester en wethouders), and a mayor (burgemeester). The mayor is both a member of the municipal executive board and an individual authority with a number of statutory responsibilities, mainly in the area of maintaining public order. The municipal council has 45 seats. Its members are elected for a four-year term through city-wide elections on the basis of proportional representation.[1] Under the Municipalities Act, the mayor is appointed for a six-year term by the national government upon nomination by the municipal council. The other members of the executive board (wethouders, or 'alderpersons') are appointed directly by the municipal council, but may be dismissed at any time after a no-confidence vote in the council. Because of this parliamentary system, the alderpersons are not appointed until a governing majority in the council has reached a coalition agreement following council elections.

In July 2010, Eberhard van der Laan (Labour Party) was appointed mayor of Amsterdam by the national government for a six-year term after being nominated by the Amsterdam municipal council.[2] After the 2014 municipal council elections, a governing majority of D66, VVD and SP was formed - the first coalition without the Labour Party since World War II.[3] Next to the mayor, the municipal executive board consists of eight wethouders ('alderpersons') appointed by the municipal council: four D66 alderpersons, two VVD alderpersons and two SP alderpersons.[4]

Municipal council 2006-2010[edit]

After the 2006 municipal elections a coalition was formed between PvdA and GroenLinks, with a majority of 27 out of 45. These elections saw a political landslide throughout the country, with a strong shift to the left, of which Amsterdam was a prime example. The much talked about all-left-wing coalition of PvdA, GroenLinks and SP that polls indicate would become possible after the national elections of 2006 and that was such a political success in Nijmegen had its largest majority in Amsterdam, apart from some small towns. PvdA even needed only 3 more seats to form a coalition and could thus take its pick, which forced potential coalition partners to give in on a lot of issues. In the case of GroenLinks, this was mostly the policy of preventive searching by the police, which they were opposed to but had to allow.

In total, 24 parties took part in the elections, including 11 new ones, but only 7 got seats. Amsterdam Anders/De groenen got assigned one seat at first, but lost it after redistibution, which in the Netherlands is done through a system that favours big parties. In 2002 they only just missed out on a second seat in a similar manner.

municipal executive
Name Portfolio Party
Job Cohen mayor
Safety & Internal Affairs
PvdA
Lodewijk Asscher vice-mayor
Finance & the Economy
PvdA
Freek Ossel Education & Income PvdA
Carolien Gehrels Culture & Recreation PvdA
Tjeerd Herrema Transport & Housing PvdA
Maarten van Poelgeest Spatial Planning GL
Marijke Vos Environment & Healthcare GL
municipal legislative
Party seats change
from
2002
PvdA 20 +5
VVD 8 -1
GroenLinks 7 +1
SP 6 +2
CDA 2 -2
D66 2 -1
AA/De Groenen 0 -1
Mokum Mobiel 0 -1
Total 45 -

Municipal council 2010-2014[edit]

Dutch municipal elections, 2010:


municipal executive
Name Portfolio Party
Eberhard van der Laan mayor
Safety & Internal Affairs
PvdA
Pieter Hilhorst [5] vice-mayor
Finance & Education
PvdA
Freek Ossel Housing PvdA
Carolien Gehrels Economy & Culture PvdA
Eric van der Burg Healthcare & Schiphol VVD
Eric Wiebes Transport VVD
Maarten van Poelgeest Spatial Planning GL
Andrée van Es Income GL
municipal legislative
Party seats change
from
2006
PvdA 15 -5
VVD 8 0
GroenLinks 7 0
D66 7 +5
SP 3 -3
CDA 2 0
Save Amsterdam 1 +1
Proud of the Netherlands 1 +1
Party for the Animals 1 +1
Total 45 -

Boroughs[edit]

Main article: Boroughs of Amsterdam
Eight boroughs of Amsterdam.

Unlike most other Dutch municipalities, Amsterdam is subdivided into eight boroughs (stadsdelen or 'districts'), a system that was implemented in the 1980s and significantly reformed in 2014. Before 2014, the boroughs were responsible for many activities that previously had been run by the central city. The idea was to bring the government closer to the people. All of these had their own district council (deelraad), chosen by a popular election. Local decisions were made at borough level, and only affairs pertaining the whole city (like major infrastructural projects), were delegated to the central city council. As of 2014, the powers of the boroughs have been significantly reduced, although they still have an elected council called bestuurscommissie ('district committee').

The boroughs are:

The eighth, Westpoort, covers the western harbour area of Amsterdam. Because it has very few inhabitants it is governed by the central municipal council.

Mayors[edit]

The mayor of Amsterdam is the head of the city council. The current mayor-designate is Eberhard van der Laan (PvdA). The mayors since the World War II are:

See also: List of mayors of Amsterdam.

Population centers[edit]

Amsterdam, Driemond, Durgerdam, Holysloot, 't Nopeind, Osdorp, Ransdorp, Sloten, Sloterdijk, Zunderdorp.

International cooperation[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "City Council & college of Alderpersons". Iamsterdam.com. Retrieved 2014-08-14. 
  2. ^ "Eberhard van der Laan to be Amsterdam's new mayor". DutchNews.nl. June 24, 2010. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  3. ^ Britt Slegers (Jun 12, 2014). "Three-party coalition in Amsterdam". NL Times. Retrieved Aug 13, 2014. 
  4. ^ "College van burgemeester en wethouders" (in Dutch). City of Amsterdam. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  5. ^ Replacing Lodewijk Asscher since November 28, 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Bureau Internationale Betrekkingen". www.amsterdam.nl. Bureau Internationale Betrekkingen, City of Amsterdam. Archived from the original on 2006-12-06. Retrieved 2007-04-05. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°22′N 4°53′E / 52.367°N 4.883°E / 52.367; 4.883