Public body (Netherlands)

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For the Caribbean public bodies, see Caribbean 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.[1]

In addition, Article 134 of the constitution provides for the definition of other public bodies by law.[1] 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:

It is proposed to give Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba another status, the status of Caribbean public bodies. This proposal is not finalized, at 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:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Grondwet (Constitution)". Dutch Government. Retrieved 3 January 2011.