Politics of the Netherlands

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Prime Minister Mark Rutte

The politics of the Netherlands is that of an indirect democracy. It has a constitution and a monarchy that operates within the constitution. The democratic structure is determined by a parliament (the legislative branch) and a government (the executive branch). The government depends on the confidence of the parliament, but the two branches aren't strictly separated (the parliamentary system).

The parliament is called the States General (Dutch: Staten-Generaal) and consists of two chambers: a lower house, the so-called Second Chamber (Dutch: Tweede Kamer), comparable with the House of Representatives in other countries, and a upper house, the so-called First Chamber (Dutch: Eerste Kamer), comparable with the Senate in other countries, and often called likewise.

At a lower level, there are provinces, municipalities and water boards.

On a higher level, the Netherlands makes part of the Benelux, Council of Europe, European Union, NATO and the United Nations.

The Netherlands is officially called the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is composed of four countries: the Netherlands itself (the European part) and three island countries in the Caribbean: Aruba, Curaçao and Saint Martin. Three other islands in the Caribbean that belong to the Netherlands have a status of special municipalities of the Netherlands, the so-called Caribbean Netherlands.

Government[change | change source]

Current government is the Third Rutte cabinet, a coalition of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD, a conservative liberal party), the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA, a Christian democratic party), Democrats 66 (D66, a social liberal party), and the ChristianUnion (CU, an orthodox Christian democratic party).

The Third Rutte Cabinet was established on October 26, 2017. Prime Minister has been VVD politician Mark Rutte since 2010.

Political parties[change | change source]

The following 18 political parties are in parliament:

No more in parliament:

  • AOV - General Senior Alliance (Dutch: Algemeen Ouderen Verbond), a former party focused on the interests of elder people.
  • BP - Farmers' Party (Dutch: Boerenpartij), a former party focused on the interests of farmers.
  • CD - Centre Democrats (Dutch: Centrum Democraten), a former anti-immigration party.
  • DS'70 - Democratic Socialists 1970 (Dutch: Democratisch-Socialisten 1970), a former moderate social democratic party, a split from the PvdA.
  • LN - Livable Netherlands (Dutch: Leefbaar Nederland), a former populist party.
  • LPF - Pim Fortuyn List (Dutch: Lijst Pim Fortuyn), a former populist party established by the in 2002 murdered politician Pim Fortuyn.

Political leaders[change | change source]

Political leaders since March 2021, sorted by the number of seats in the House of Representatives.

Parties represented only in the Senate.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Split from Forum for Democracy (FVD).
  2. Previously 50PLUS (50+).
  3. Split from the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA).
  4. Group Nanninga belongs to JA21.