Netherlands: Government

Kingdom of the Netherlands Flag
Coat of Arms of Kingdom of the Netherlands

Key Figures

Chief of State: King Willem-Alexander

Head of Government: Prime Minister Mark Rutte

Overview

Government Name: Kingdom of the Netherlands

Constitution: Formed: 1983; The current edition after many revisions is seen as directly derived from the 1815 constitution. A bill of rights is included. Constitution does not permit judicial review of the acts of the States General, thus there is no constitutional court in the Netherlands.

Government Type: Constitutional Monarchy

Main Powers Election Process Election Cycle Source: ElectionGuide, http://www.electionguide.org/
Executive

Monarch has a role in the formation of government and legislative process. He has to co-sign every law to make it valid and is also ex officio chair of the Council of State.

Monarch is hereditary, prime minister is appointed by the monarch, and the deputy prime minister is appointed by the prime minister.

Prime Minister: 4 years; Deputy Prime Minister: 4 years

Judicial

Hoge Raad is the highest court of the land and deals with civil, criminal, and tax-related cases.

Justices are appointed by the monarch from a list provided by the Second Chamber.

Mandatory retirement age of 70

Legislative

First Chamber has the right to accept or reject legislative proposals, but not to amend them or to initiate legislation. Second Chamber discusses proposed legislation and review of the actions of the cabinet take place here. May propose legislation and discuss it. If adopted by the majority, it is sent to the Senate.

First Chamber members are indirectly elected through a flexible-list proportional representation system. Second Chamber members are elected through a flexible-list proportional representation system.

First Chamber: 4 years; Second Chamber: 4 years

International Relations

Foreign Policy Trends: The Netherlands abandoned a longstanding policy of neutrality after World War II. The Dutch are engaged participants in international affairs. Dutch foreign policy is geared to promoting a wide variety of goals: the rule of law, human rights, and democracy. Priority is given to enhancing European integration, ensuring European security and stability (mainly through the mechanism of NATO and the EU, and by emphasizing the important role the United States plays in the security of Europe), and participating in conflict management and peacekeeping missions. The Netherlands generally pursues its foreign policy interests within the framework of multilateral organizations. The Netherlands is an active and responsible participant in the United Nations as well as other multilateral organizations such as NATO, the EU, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe (CoE), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Regional Trade Blocs: European Union

Treaties: NATO, Common Security and Defense Policy


International Organization Participation  Source: CIA World Factbook

ADB AfDB Arctic Council Australia Group Benelux BIS
CBSS CD CE CERN EAPC EBRD
ECB EIB EITI EMU ESA ESCAP
EU FAO FATF G-10 IADB IAEA
IBRD ICAO ICC ICRM IDA IEA
IFAD IFC IFRCS IGAD IHO ILO
IMF IMO IMSO Interpol IOC IOM
IPU ISO ITSO ITU ITUC MIGA
MINUSMA NATO NEA NSG OAS OECD
OPCW OSCE Pacific Alliance Paris Club PCA Schengen Convention
SELEC UN UNAMID UNCTAD UNESCO UNHCR
UNIDO UNMISS UNRWA UNTSO UNWTO UPU
WCO WHO WIPO WMO WTO ZC

Note: Click table to see details


Environmental Agreements  Source: CIA World Factbook

Air Pollution Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants Air Pollution-Sulfur 85 Air Pollution-Sulfur 94 Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds
Antarctic Treaty Antarctic-Environmental Protocol Antarctic-Marine Living Resources Biodiversity Climate Change Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Desertification Endangered Species Environmental Modification Hazardous Wastes Law of the Sea Marine Dumping
Marine Life Conservation Ozone Layer Protection Ship Pollution Tropical Timber 06 Wetlands Whaling

Note: Click table to see details



Sources:

CIA World Factbook and U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets except where stated otherwise.

Glossary