Senate (Netherlands)

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Eerste Kamer
States General of the Netherlands
Coat of arms or logo
Ankie Broekers-KnolVVD
since July 2, 2013
First Vice President
Marijke LinthorstPvdA
since July 9, 2013
Second Vice President
Hans FrankenCDA
since July 5, 2011
Seats 75
Political groups

     Government (30)

  •      VVD (16)
  •      PvdA (14)

Opposition Parties (45)

  •      CDA (11)
  •      PVV (10)
  •      SP (8)
  •      D66 (5)
  •      GL (5)
  •      CU (2)
  •      SGP (1)
  •      50PLUS (1)
  •      PvdD (1)
  •      OSF (1)
Length of term
Indirect election
Last election
Dutch Senate election of 2011
Meeting place
Algemene Politieke Beschouwingen in Eerste Kamer (10553669036).jpg
Senate Chamber
The Hague
The Senate of the Netherlands
Azure, billetty Or a lion with a coronet Or armed and langued Gules holding in his dexter paw a sword Argent hilted Or and in the sinister paw seven arrows Argent pointed and bound together Or. [The seven arrows stand for the seven provinces of the Union of Utrecht.] The shield is crowned with the (Dutch) royal crown and supported by two lions Or armed and langued gules. They stand on a scroll Azure with the text (Or) "Je Maintiendrai" (French for "I will maintain".)
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Netherlands

The Senate (in Dutch: Eerste Kamer der Staten-Generaal [Dutch pronunciation: [ˈeːrstə ˈkaːmər dɛr ˈstaːtə(n) ˌɣeːnəˈraːɫ]], literally "First Chamber of the States General", short Eerste Kamer) is the upper house of the Dutch parliament, the States General. It was established in 1815, when the Netherlands and Belgium emerged as a single state at the end of the Napoleonic wars, and continued after Belgian secession in 1830.

It currently has 75 members, elected by the members of the twelve States-Provincial (provincial councils) every four years. Unlike the politically more significant House of Representatives, it meets only one day a week. Its members tend to be veteran politicians or part-time politicians at the national level, often having other roles. It has the right to accept or reject legislative proposals, but not to amend them or to initiate legislation. Members of the Senate are elected indirectly through the States-Provincial, which in turn are elected by the people of the Netherlands every four years. The States-Provincial work in the same way as the House of Representatives. After elections for the States-Provincial, their new membership elects people to take a seat in the Senate.

e • d Party breakdown of the Senate after the 2011 indirect elections
Parties Seats 2011 Seats 2007 Seats 2003 Seats 1999 Seats 1995 Seats 1991
People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) 16 14 15 19 23 12
Labour Party (PvdA) 14 14 19 15 14 16
Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) 11 21 23 20 19 27
Party for Freedom (PVV) 10
Socialist Party (SP) 8 12 4 2 1
Democrats 66 (D66) 5 2 3 4 7 12
GreenLeft (GL) 5 4 5 8 4 4
Christian Union (CU) 2 4 2 4 2* 2*
Political Reformed Party (SGP) 1 2 2 2 2 2
50PLUS (50+) 1
Party for the Animals (PvdD) 1 1
Independent Senate Group (OSF) 1 1 1 1 1
Pim Fortuyn List (LPF) 1
General Elderly Alliance (AOV) 2
Total 75 75 75 75 75 75

* Reformatory Political Federation (RPF) and Reformed Political League (GPV)

On June 7, 2011, the new Senate was installed.

See also[edit]

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