Today the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, is saying goodbye to 71 parliamentarians. On Thursday the new parliament, which was elected last week, will meet for the first time, NOS reports.
After talking with all 13 elected party leaders on Monday, "coalition scout" Edith Schippers will be meeting with the leaders of the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks today to discuss a possible coalition, RTL Nieuws reports.
VVD leader and current Prime Minister Mark Rutte would like to form a cabinet consisting of his VVD, the CDA and D66, he said on Monday after discussing coalition possibilities with Edith Schippers. "Given the election results", these parties need to take governmental responsibility, he said, but added that "it also depends on what the parties themselves want", NU.nl 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.
There needs to be more women in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch Parliament, according to Kamer leader Khadija Arib. As long as only a quarter of the Kamer consists of women, parliament will not be a true reflection of society, she said to BNR.
And it is not just women. The Kamer could definitely do with a better balance between young and old and different ethnic backgrounds. There is still a world to win when it comes to emancipation, Arib said.
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.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte got support from a majority in the lower house of Dutch parliament for amendments he wants to add to the association agreement between the European Union and Ukraine so that the Netherlands can ratify it. In the Tweede Kamer on Tuesday the VVD, PvdA, D66 and GroenLinks supported his solution, NOS reports.
On Tuesday the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, voted in a legislative proposal by the D66 that makes the cultivation and transportation of cannabis in hashish legal under strict conditions. Now it has to pass through the Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate, though it is uncertain whether the bill will make it.
On Tuesday the lower house of Dutch parliament is voting on a D66 proposal that will put an end to the Netherlands' policy that cannabis may be sold in the country, but not cultivated. The law for regulated cannabis cultivation is very controversial, but seems to be able to count on a narrow majority of 76 votes, according to the Telegraaf.
The lower house of Dutch parliament is discussing a PVV legislative proposal today that wants to ensure that Zwarte Piet keeps his blackface makeup. According to initiator Martin Bosma, "for years there's been a war against Zwarte Piet" and that has to stop, 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.
The lower house of Dutch parliament is debating a new data mining law that will give the Dutch intelligence services AIVD and MIVD the power to intercept data streams on large scales. The expectation is that the law will be voted in, as a majority in parliament already revealed support for the law, AD reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD) more clearly expressed his rejection of Donald Trump closing the American borders to people from seven Muslim countries. He did so during a parliamentary debate on the entry ban and at the insistence of several other parties.
According to D66 parliamentarian Kees Verhoeven, Donald Trump's decree to close the American borders to people from seven Muslim countries is "pure discrimination". In a parliamentary debate on the matter on Thursday he that the Dutch government makes a "strong noise against" this decree, a sentiment shared by a number of other parties. The Netherlands decided to suspend talks with American Border Patrol regarding the entry ban for the time being , AD reports.
A majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, wants a debate on new American president Donald Trump's decision to close the United States borders to asylum seekers and other people from seven Muslim countries. The D66 and GroenLinks first raised the call for a debate on Sunday and they are now supported by the PvdA, CDA, SP, ChristenUnie, PvdD, Group Kuzu/Ozturk and parliamentarian Norbert Klein, NU.nl reports.
VVD Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice is again under fire about his role in a controversial deal Fred Teeven made with drug criminal Cees H. in 2001. A book journalist Bas Haan wrote about this deal revealed that Van der Steur deliberately withheld information from parliament, first as a parliamentarian and then when he took office as Minister. The VVD also had this information, the Volkskrant reports.
Three quarters of people in the Netherlands are against texting and using a smartphone while cycling, according to a survey commissioned by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, the Telegraaf reports.
The survey was done among a representative group of 554 people over the age of 18 years. 70 percent of respondents described using a smartphone while cycling as an "urgent problem". Of the respondents over the age of 55 years, a massive 90 percent saw it that way. While among young people, only half see it as an urgent problem.
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.
A mentally disturbed man caused havoc on the Dutch government complex the Binnenhof in The Hague on Thursday afternoon. He threw a bag at the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, from the square in front of it. The square was evacuated, surrounding streets were closed down for several hours and warning shots were fired before the man was finally arrested, the Telegraaf reports.
When European Commissioner Frans Timmermans was a PvdA parliamentarian in 2010, he did nothing for six months because he had not be given the party's Foreign Affairs portfolio, Home Affairs Minister Ronald Plasterk said in an interview with the Volkskrant. Plasterk was also a parliamentarian at the time.