The new Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, was sworn in on Thursday. Of the total 150 parliamentarians, 71 weren't in the previous parliament. All 150 parliamentarians had to take the oath, NOS reports.
Edith Schippers, current Health Minister, is starting her work as "coalition scout" this morning with a meeting with VVD leader and current Prime Minister Mark Rutte. As coalition scout Schippers will speak to all elected party leader and discuss their desires in forming a coalition and present a report with the best possible coalitions, NOS reports.
Current Public Health Minister Edith Schippers (VVD) was appointed to explore the coalition possiblities for the Netherlands' new cabinet, lower house president Khadija Arib announced at a press conference on Thursday afternoon. Schippers will start working as soon as possible and is expected to have a progress report ready by March 21st, so that the new parliament can debate it on Thursday.
Lower house of parliament president Khadija Arib refused to cooperate in the wish of two of King Willem-Alexander's influential advisors to give the King more influence in the formation of the new cabinet, the Volkskrant reports.
Up until 2012 the ruling Dutch monarch played an active role in the formation of a new cabinet. The King or Queen could, for example, assign a "scout" to examine coalition possibilities and appoint informers. After a majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, changed the rules in 2012, the Kamer itself performs these tasks.
Around 11:00 p.m. on Thursday the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, finished its last debate before the parliamentary election on March 15th. For many parliamentarians who are not on their party's new list of candidates, this was their last time speaking in the Kamer. The next debate will be held with new parliamentarians, the Telegraaf reports.
The Dutch Public Prosecutor wants to prosecute jihadists before their return to the Netherlands, while they are still in Syria and Iraq, national coordinating prosecutor Ferry van Veghel said in Nieuwsuur. "Given the high risk of people who come back from this area, we do not want to wait until they come back before opening criminal investigations. We want it all to start now and continue in their absence", he said.
More needs to be done in the fight against human trafficking, National Rapporteur on Human Trafficking and Sexual Violence Against Children Corinne Dettmeijer wrote in a letter to parliament. Her concerns about human trafficking has only grown over the past months as the capacity to fight this heinous crime is reduced, RTL Nieuws reports.
It seems that political parties in the Netherlands used the current parliament as example when setting up their candidate lists for the parliamentary elections on March 15th. The vast majority of candidates are well-educated, have political experience and come from the Randstad. And, unless voters opt differently with their preference votes, the new parliament will be two-thirds middle age men, Trouw reports based on an analysis by the University of Leiden's Parliamentary Documentation Center.
With the parliamentary elections coming up in March, and warnings from American security experts that the Netherlands may be targeted by Russian hackers, Dutch parliament is focused on fixing cyber defense issues and increasing cyber security.
The Dutch government is working on a law that entails criteria foreign funders must meet if they want to give money to a Dutch institution, according to a letter the cabinet sent to parliament on Monday, Het Parool reports.
One of the things the government is considering is an obligation of all foundations in the Netherlands to be transparent about the donations they receive. In this way problematic and undesirable foreign financing to, for example, religious institutions can be better addressed, the government wrote, according to the newspaper.
VVD parliamentarian Fred Teeven is stepping aside as parliamentarian to undergo a brain surgery in January. The expectation is that he wil not return to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, to speak before the elections in March next year, the Telegraaf reported on Wednesday.
December 22nd will be Teeven's last regular working day before the surgery in January. He may still occassionally return to the Kamer to vote before the elections, but not as a spokesperson, according to the newspaper.
PvdA parliamentarian Jacques Monasch is threatening to support a motion of no confidence by the opposition parties against the government next week if a decision is not made about the Ukraine referendum, he said to NOS on Thursday.
The lower house of Dutch parliament will discuss the preliminary results into the downing of flight MH17 with Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Wednesday afternoon.
A citizens' intiative to introduce basic income in the Netherlands in 2018 will be submitted to parliament on Tuesday. The initiative has 58,800 signatures, significantly more than the 40 thousand needed to submit a proposal to parliament.
A majority of the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, supports a free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada (CETA)
PvdA parliamentarian Sjoera Dikkers collapsed while talking in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, on Tuesday.
Ard van der Steur will not be returning as a parliamentarian for the VVD after the elections in March next year. He is not on the VVD election list
On Tuesday the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, adopted a legislative proposal that gives insurers the ability to look at the medical records of patients if they suspect fraud is being committed. This can be done without the patient's consent, provided that the patient is informed no later than three months after the fact, Motherboard reports.
On Tuesday the Dutch lower house of parliament voted in a new law on organ donation with an extremely close 75 votes for and 74 votes against. PvdD parliamentarian Frank Wassengberg planned to vote against, but arrived too late for the vote. If he'd been on time, there would have been an equal number of for and against votes and the bill would not have passed.
State Secretary Martijn van Dam of Economic Affairs is not on the PvdA's candidate list for parliamentarians in the upcoming elections, scheduled for March next year. But he would like to be part of a future cabinet, he said to Dutch newspaper AD.
PVV leader Geert Wilders caught his own party by surprise with the sudden publication of the party's only one page long election campaign program, several PVV parliamentarians said to RTL Nieuws.
Parties in the Tweede Kamer - the lower house of Dutch parliament - are furious about statements the Turkish ambassador to the Netherlands made pressuring the Dutch government to help hunt down supporters of the Gulen-movement. Numerous parliamentarians expressed their annoyance to NU.nl.
Dutch parliamentarians reacted shocked and horrified to the attack in Nice, France on Thursday that left at least 84 people dead and hundreds injured. The first of the victims have been identified. So far none of the victims are Dutch and no Dutch have been reported missing
The Mayor and aldermen of Amsterdam are discussing opportunities for potentially regulating cannabis cultivation, even though the Dutch members of parliament voted against allowing municipalities to do so just last week, AT5 reported on Tuesday.