Coordinates: 52°4′47″N 4°18′53″E / 52.07972°N 4.31472°E / 52.07972; 4.31472

House of Representatives (Netherlands)

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House of Representatives

Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal
States General of the Netherlands
Type
Type
Leadership
Martin Bosma, PVV
since 14 December 2023
First Deputy Speaker
Tom van der Lee, GL–PvdA
since 19 December 2023
Second Deputy Speaker
Roelien Kamminga, VVD
since 19 December 2023
Structure
Seats150
Political groups
Government (88)
  •   PVV (37)
  •   VVD (24)
  •   NSC (20)
  •   BBB (7)

Opposition (62)

Elections
Open party-list proportional representation (D'Hondt method)
Last election
22 November 2023
Next election
On or before 15 March 2028
Meeting place
Binnenhof, The Hague
(closed due to ongoing renovations)
Bezuidenhoutseweg 67, The Hague
(temporary)
Website
www.houseofrepresentatives.nl

The House of Representatives (Dutch: Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal [ˈtʋeːdə ˈkaːmər dər ˈstaːtə(ŋ) ˌɣeːnəˈraːl] , literally "Second Chamber of the States General", or simply Tweede Kamer) is the lower house of the bicameral parliament of the Netherlands, the States General, the other one being the Senate. It has 150 seats, which are filled through elections using party-list proportional representation. Generally, the house is located in the Binnenhof in The Hague, however, it has temporarily moved to the former building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at Bezuidenhoutseweg 67 in The Hague while the Binnenhof is being renovated.[3]

Name

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Although the body is officially called the "House of Representatives" in English, it is not a direct translation of its official Dutch name, the "Second Chamber of the States General", "Second Chamber" or more colloquially just the "Chamber". Rather than "representative" (afgevaardigde), a member of the House is referred to as (Tweede) Kamerlid, or "member of the (Second) Chamber".

Functions

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The House of Representatives is the primary legislative body of the States General, where proposed legislation is discussed and the actions of the cabinet are reviewed. Both the Cabinet and the House of Representatives itself have the right to propose legislation; the House of Representatives discusses it and, if adopted by a majority, sends it on to the Senate.[4] Both individual cabinet ministers and the cabinet as a whole must have parliament’s confidence. Therefore, a minister, or the whole cabinet, must resign if a majority of parliament expresses it no longer has confidence in them.[5] Review of the actions of the cabinet takes the form of formal interrogations in plenary and committee meetings, which may result in motions urging the cabinet to take, or refrain from, certain actions. No individual may be a member of both parliament and cabinet, except in a caretaker cabinet that has not yet been succeeded when a new House is sworn in.

Through functions like the scrutiny and political discussions before meetings of the Council of the European Union, the appointment of EU-rapporteurs and participation in Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs the House of Representatives also plays a role in EU policy making.[6]

The House of Representatives is also responsible for the first round of selection for judges to the Supreme Court of the Netherlands. It submits a list of three names for every vacant position to the Government. Furthermore, it elects the Dutch Ombudsman and their subsidiaries.

Elections

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The normal term of the House of Representatives is four years. Elections are called when the government loses the parliament's confidence, the governing coalition breaks down, the term of the House of Representatives expires, or when no governing coalition can be formed.

Registration and eligibility

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All citizens over the age of 18 are eligible to vote. Eligible citizens residing in the Netherlands are automatically registered through the municipal population register, while expatriates can permanently register at the municipality of The Hague provided they have a current Dutch passport or national ID. Residents of Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten can only vote if they have spent at least ten years residing in the Netherlands or work for the Dutch civil service.[7][clarification needed]

Prisoners serving a term of more than one year are not eligible to vote. From 2009 onwards, mentally incapacitated citizens have regained the right to vote.[8]

Electoral system

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The Netherlands uses a system of party-list proportional representation. Seats are allocated among the parties using the D'Hondt method[9] with an election threshold of 0.67% (a Hare quota).[10] Parties may choose to compete with different candidate lists in each of the country's twenty electoral circles. If a party competes with different candidate lists, the seats allocated to the party are subsequently allocated among its different candidate lists using the largest remainders method.[11] The seats won by a list are first allocated to the candidates who, in preferential votes, have received at least 25% of the Hare quota (effectively ¼ of a seat or 0.17% of the total votes), regardless of their placement on the electoral list. If multiple candidates from a list pass this threshold, their ordering is determined based on the number of votes received. Any remaining seats are allocated to candidates according to their position on the electoral list.[12][13]

From 1973 until 2017, parties were able to form electoral alliances to increase their share of seats in parliament, allowing parties to overcome some of the bias of the D'Hondt method; however, this practice has since been discontinued.[14]

When a vacancy arises, the seat is offered to the next candidate on the candidate list to which the seat was originally allocated.[15]

Formation of governing coalition

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After all seats are allocated, a series of negotiations take place in order to form a government that, usually, commands a majority in the chamber. Since 2012, the House of Representatives appoints a "scout" to ask the major party leaders about prospective coalitions. On basis of the scout's interviews, the House of Representatives then appoints an informateur, who checks out possible coalitions, and a formateur, who leads negotiations. Before 2012, the informateur and formateur were appointed by the monarch. It typically takes a few months before the formateur is ready to accept a royal invitation to form a government and become prime minister. All cabinet members must resign from parliament, as the constitution does not allow a cabinet member to simultaneously hold a seat in the House of Representatives.

Due to the nationwide party-list system and the low election threshold, a typical House of Representatives has ten or more parties represented. Such fragmentation makes it nearly impossible for one party to win the 76 seats needed for a majority in the House of Representatives. Since the current party-list proportional representation system was introduced in 1917, no party has approached the number of seats needed for an outright majority. This fragmentation also makes it almost prohibitively difficult to win enough seats to govern alone. The highest number of seats won by a single party since then has been 54 out of 150, by the CDA in 1986 and 1989. Between 1891 and 1897, the Liberal Union was the last party to have an absolute majority of seats in the House of Representatives.[citation needed] All Dutch cabinets since then have been coalitions of two or more parties.

Composition

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Historical compositions

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Representation per party, between 1946 and 2021

Historically, there have been 100 seats in the House of Representatives. In 1956, this number was increased to 150, at which it remains today.

To give an overview of the history of the House of Representatives, the figure on the right shows the seat distribution in the House from the first general elections after World War II (1946) to the most recent election. The left-wing parties are located towards the bottom, while the Christian parties are located in the center, and the right-wing parties towards the top. Occasionally, single-issue (or narrow-focus) parties have arisen, and these are shown at the extreme top. Vertical lines indicate general elections. Although these are generally held every four years, the resulting coalition governments do not always finish their term without a government crisis, which is often followed by new elections.

Current composition

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The composition of the House of Representatives as of the 2023 general election is shown in the table below.

Group Leader Seats
Party for Freedom Geert Wilders
GroenLinks–PvdA Frans Timmermans
People's Party for Freedom and Democracy Dilan Yeşilgöz
New Social Contract Pieter Omtzigt
Democrats 66 Rob Jetten
Farmer–Citizen Movement Caroline van der Plas
Christian Democratic Appeal Henri Bontenbal
Socialist Party Jimmy Dijk
DENK Stephan van Baarle
Party for the Animals Esther Ouwehand
Forum for Democracy Thierry Baudet
Reformed Political Party Chris Stoffer
Christian Union Mirjam Bikker
Volt Netherlands Laurens Dassen
JA21 Joost Eerdmans

Wasted vote

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The small fraction of voters, which were not represented by any party in the House of Representatives of the Netherlands despite valid vote, is increasing. The wasted vote fraction is shown below:[16][failed verification]

Graph of the wasted vote in the Netherlands from 2002 to 2021
Graph of the wasted vote in the Netherlands from 2002 to 2021

Members of the Presidium

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Position Portrait Name Group Service in the Presidium Service in the House of Representatives
Speaker Martin Bosma Martin Bosma
(born 1964)
PVV 30 June 2010
(14 years, 17 days)
30 November 2006
(17 years, 230 days)
First Deputy Speaker Tom van der Lee
(born 1964)
GL/PvdA 14 June 2018
(6 years, 33 days)
23 March 2017
(7 years, 116 days)
Second Deputy Speaker Roelien Kamminga Roelien Kamminga
(born 1978)
VVD 7 July 2021
(3 years, 10 days)
31 March 2021
(3 years, 108 days)
Third Deputy Speaker Nicolien van Vroonhoven-Kok Nicolien van Vroonhoven-Kok
(born 1971)
NSC 19 December 2023
(211 days)
23 May 2002 - 12 May 2008,
18 August 2008 - 17 June 2010,
6 December 2023
(8 years, 153 days)
Fourth Deputy Speaker Wieke Paulusma Wieke Paulusma
(born 1978)
D66 19 December 2023
(211 days)
15 April 2021
(3 years, 93 days)
Fifth Deputy Speaker Henk Vermeer
(born 1966)
BBB 19 December 2023
(211 days)
6 December 2023
(224 days)
Sixth Deputy Speaker Gidi Markuszower Gidi Markuszower
(born 1977)
PVV 19 December 2023
(211 days)
21 March 2017
(7 years, 118 days)

Parliamentary committees

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Parliamentary committee Ministry Current chair
Parliamentary committee for the Interior [nl] Ministry of the Interior
and Kingdom Relations
Kiki Hagen (D66)
Parliamentary committee for Foreign Affairs [nl] Ministry of Foreign Affairs Attje Kuiken (GL–PvdA)
Parliamentary committee for Finance [nl] Ministry of Finance Judith Tielen (VVD)
Parliamentary committee for
Justice and Security
Ministry of Justice and Security Paul van Menen (D66)
Parliamentary committee for
Economic Affairs and Climate Policy
Ministry of Economic Affairs Agnes Mulder (CDA)
Parliamentary committee for Defence Ministry of Defence Raymond de Roon (PVV)
Parliamentary committee for
Health, Welfare and Sport
Ministry of Health,
Welfare and Sport
Bart Smals (VVD)
Parliamentary committee for
Social Affairs and Employment
Ministry of Social Affairs
and Employment
Tunahan Kuzu (DENK)
Parliamentary committee for
Education, Culture and Science
Ministry of Education,
Culture and Science
Ingrid Michon (VVD)
Parliamentary committee for
Infrastructure and Water Management
Ministry of Infrastructure
and Water Management
Tjeerd de Groot (D66)
Parliamentary committee for
Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries,
Food Security and Nature
Jaco Geurts (CDA)
Select Parliamentary Committee Ministry Current Chair
Parliamentary committee for
Kingdom Relations
Ministry of the Interior
and Kingdom Relations
Mariëlle Paul (VVD)
Parliamentary committee for
European Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Laura Bromet (GL–PvdA)
Parliamentary committee for
Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jorien Wuite (D66)
Parliamentary committee for
Building Supervision
Ministry of Infrastructure
and Water Management
Ockje Tellegen (VVD)
Parliamentary committee for
Petitions and the Citizen Initiatives
Vacant
Parliamentary committee for
Intelligence and Security
Sophie Hermans (VVD)
Special Parliamentary Committee Ministry Current Chair
Parliamentary committee for
Digital Affairs
Roelien Kamminga (VVD)

Notes

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  1. ^

References

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  1. ^ "GroenLinks-PvdA (GL-PvdA)". Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal. 27 October 2023. Retrieved 27 October 2023.
  2. ^ a b "Netherlands". Europe Elects.
  3. ^ "Renovatie van het Binnenhof en de tijdelijke verhuizing van de Tweede Kamer". www.tweedekamer.nl (in Dutch). 27 February 2019. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  4. ^ "Democracy in the Netherlands". www.houseofrepresentatives.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 14 July 2024.
  5. ^ "The cabinet". www.houseofrepresentatives.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 14 July 2024.
  6. ^ "Europe at The House of Representatives and the Senate". www.houseofrepresentatives.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 14 July 2024.
  7. ^ Kiesgerechtigdheid, Government of the Netherlands, 22 April 2016, retrieved 2 December 2018
  8. ^ Uitsluiting kiesrecht, Government of the Netherlands, 22 April 2016, retrieved 3 September 2023
  9. ^ "Kieswet, Hoofdstuk P". wetten.nl (in Dutch). 22 February 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Kiesdrempel, kiesdeler en voorkeurdrempel". Kiesraad.nl (in Dutch). 22 April 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Kieskringen". Kiesraad.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 3 July 2024.
  12. ^ Nederland, Parlementsverkiezingen, 15 maart 2017: Eindrapport (Report). OSCE/ODIHR. 7 June 2017. Archived from the original on 24 October 2020. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Zetelverdeling over kandidaten". Kiesraad (in Dutch). 22 April 2016. Archived from the original on 9 July 2023. Retrieved 9 July 2023.
  14. ^ Gijs Herderscheê (20 June 2017). "Fenomeen politieke lijstverbinding sneuvelt in Eerste Kamer". Volkskrant.
  15. ^ "Tussentijdse benoemingen". Kiesraad.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 3 July 2024.
  16. ^ "Bekendmaking uitslag Tweede Kamerverkiezing 2021". Kiesraad (in Dutch). 22 April 2016. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
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52°4′47″N 4°18′53″E / 52.07972°N 4.31472°E / 52.07972; 4.31472