Chief of State: King Willem-Alexander
Head of Government: Prime Minister Mark Rutte
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/|
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
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
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
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|
|OPCW||OSCE||Pacific Alliance||Paris Club||PCA||Schengen Convention|
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
Tax Authority: Ministry of Finance
Tax Name: VAT