Public body (Netherlands)
In the Netherlands, the term public body (a literal translation from the Dutch term "openbaar lichaam") is the general denomination for administrative divisions within the Dutch state, such as the central government, a province, a municipality or a water board. These types of political entities are defined by the Dutch constitution.
In addition, Article 134 of the constitution provides for the definition of other public bodies by law. Such bodies can be professionally oriented, like the Dutch Order of Advocates (Dutch: Nederlandse Orde van Advocaten), or be constituted to perform functions in a specific region. This means that the term public body is sometimes used to indicate a special or irregular type of public body (without a specifically defined name), which can also be an administrative division or a certain other type of governmental organisation. Notable examples of administrative divisions merely denoted as "public bodies" include:
- Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (2010–present) (often referred to as "special municipalities", not part of any province)
- The public body Rijnmond (Dutch: openbaar lichaam Rijnmond) (1964–1986)
It is proposed to give Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba another status, the status of Caribbean public bodies. This proposal is not finalized yet, because it is not in parliament yet.
On a regional level, municipalities, provinces, water boards and the Caribbean public bodies can constitute internal or umbrella public bodies, as defined by the law on common arrangements (Dutch: wet gemeenschappelijke regelingen). Examples of such bodies include:
- Plus regions/city regions (Dutch: Plusregio's/stadsregio's): Organisations of urbanised regions, e.g. the plus regions "stadsregio Amsterdam", "stadsregio Rotterdam", "Samenwerkingsverband Regio Eindhoven", "Parkstad Limburg" and "Stadsregio Arnhem Nijmegen".
- Safety regions (Dutch: veiligheidsregio's): Organisations coordinating disaster management, fire fighting etc.
- Social services organisations covering several municipalities.