Speaker of the House of Representatives (Netherlands)

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Speaker of the House of Representatives
Voorzitter van de Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal
Coat of arms of the Tweede Kamer.svg
Coat of arms of the House of Representatives
Vera Bergkamp
Vera Bergkamp

since 7 April 2021
StyleHis or Her Excellency
Mister or Madame Speaker
Member ofPresidium of the House of Representatives
Term lengthFour years
No term limit
Constituting instrumentConstitution of the Netherlands
Formation21 September 1815; 205 years ago (1815-09-21)
First holderJan Elias Nicolaas van Lynden van Hoevelaken
DeputyDeputy Speakers
Salary€126,975.48 (including €7,887.24 expenses)

The Speaker of the House of Representatives (Dutch: Voorzitter van de Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal) is one of the 150 members of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands, elected to lead the meetings of the House. The Speaker also chairs the Chamber's Presidium and the Procedure Committee (Commissie van de Werkwijze). Prior to the 1982 constitutional revision, the Speaker was appointed by the Crown.

The office is currently held by Vera Bergkamp of Democrats 66 (D66). She was elected to succeed Khadija Arib.[1] She was on her turn elected on 13 January 2016 in an interim election, after Speaker Anouchka van Miltenburg of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) resigned on 12 December 2015.[2] She was First Deputy and Acting Speaker until her election.[3]


As a member of the House of Representatives, the Speaker has the same rights and obligations as other members. The Speaker leads the meetings of the House. The officeholder opens and closes the meetings and determines who speaks. The members of the House, as well as Ministers and State Secretaries are not supposed to address each other directly, but always address the Speaker instead, as a method to encourage civility. While the Speaker also takes part in the voting (as a regular member of the House of Representatives), the officeholder typically does not participate in debates.

Besides leading the meetings, the Speaker represents the House of Representatives as a whole, such as in ceremonies and with visits by foreign heads of state. The Speaker is also the chair of the Presidium, which is responsible for determining the budget of the House, setting its agenda and appointing its staff.

The Speaker is supported by Deputy Speakers, ranked by number in order of precedence, which also are members of the House. In the event that the Speaker is unable to fulfill their duties or the position becomes vacant, the meeting is chaired by the First Deputy Speaker. The Speaker has a seat with a backrest that is higher than the other seats in the House.


The Speaker is elected by the members of the House of Representatives. Such an election takes place shortly after a general election or after the position became vacant. The House adopts a profile that outlines the desired qualities that potential candidates should have, such as prior experience and personal traits. The profile is not binding, however. Members can submit their candidacy, but this is not required.[4]

The election itself requires the participation of at least 76 members. To win the election, a Member needs to obtain an absolute majority of the votes cast (more than 50%). The voting takes place by open and secret ballot, which means that Members have to write down the name of the preferred Member themselves and that the vote is not disclosed. Members can choose between writing down the name of one of the candidates, the name of any other Member (whether they are standing or not), something invalid or nothing at all.[4]

An election requires multiple voting rounds when no member wins an absolute majority. If there is no winner after two rounds, the rules of voting are different. In the third round, the list of members who were voted for in the second round is definitive. In addition, the number of eligible members is limited, depending on the number of members who received votes in the second round. If fewer than five members received votes then all members except the two frontrunners are eliminated from the election, otherwise only four frontrunners remain. In the fourth round, only the two frontrunners are eligible, any other votes are deemed invalid. If both members have the same number of votes, the election is decided by lot.[4]

Members of the Presidium[edit]

Portrait Name Position Party Service in the Presidium Service as a member of
the House of Representatives
Vera Bergkamp Vera Bergkamp
(born 1971)
Speaker D66 31 October 2017
(3 years, 161 days)
20 September 2012
(8 years, 202 days)
Ockje Tellegen Ockje Tellegen
(born 1974)
First Deputy Speaker VVD 31 October 2017
(3 years, 161 days)
20 September 2012
(8 years, 202 days)
Martin Bosma Martin Bosma
(born 1964)
Second Deputy Speaker PVV 30 June 2010
(11 years, 11 days)
30 November 2006
(14 years, 131 days)
Tom van der Lee Tom van der Lee
(born 1964)
Third Deputy Speaker GL 23 March 2017
(4 years, 18 days)
Henk Nijboer Henk Nijboer
(born 1983)
Fourth Deputy Speaker PvdA 20 September 2012
(8 years, 202 days)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Khadija Arib elected Speaker of the House". House of Representatives. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Ms Anouchka van Miltenburg, Speaker of the House resigns". House of Representatives. 12 December 2015. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  3. ^ Van den Dool, Pim (15 December 2015). "Kamer kiest op 13 januari een nieuwe voorzitter" [House elects a new Speaker on 13 January]. NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "Voorzitter Tweede Kamer - verkiezingen" [Speaker House of Representatives - elections]. Parlement & Politiek (in Dutch). Retrieved 13 February 2016.

External links[edit]