Members of the Eerste- and Tweede Kamer, the Dutch Senate and lower house of parliament, commemorated the victims of World War II who fell in the former Dutch East Indies. On Tuesday Kamer presidents Ankie Broekers-Knol and Kahdija Arib laid a wreath at the plaque for the victims in the Tweede Kamer building, ANP reports.
The Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate, wants clarification from Prime Minister Mark Rutte about his plan to put two ministers at the head of the same ministry in the Rutte III government. In a letter on Wednesday, Senate President Ankie Broekers-Knol (VVD) wrote that appointing more than one person as head of a Ministry is against the Constitution, ANP reports.
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.
King Willem-Alexander emphasized the importance of cooperating with NATO, the United Nations and Europe in his traditional New Year's speech on Tuesday. According to him, "a highly developed country like the Netherlands can not be indifferent to developments in the wider world", AD reports.
Peace, freedom, stability and prosperity don't just happen, the King said. "Without our international partners it is simply impossible. It is therefore good if our voice continues to be heard in Europe, the UN, NATO and everywhere people think past their borders."
Prime Minister Mark Rutte will be giving a speech on Friday at the special joint assembly of the Dutch Senate and lower house of parliament in The Hague. This special meeting was arranged as part of the celebrations to celebrate parliament's 200th anniversary.
Further changes to the new healthcare law proposal by Dutch health minister Edith Schippers (VVD) drew doubts and opposition after Parliament heard the amended plan on Wednesday.
New legislation that would put a restrictive cap on the amount of cash bankers may collect in bonuses missed its proposed January 1 start date when last minute questions were asked by senators of coalition leader VVD. The law was previously lauded by coalition partner PvdA, the Dutch labour party, which has been at odds with the VVD after a health care bill failed to pass a Senate vote.
Ankie Broekers-Knol, the chairman of the First Chamber, denounced the intention of the Cabinet to guide the Healtcare Act of Minister Edith Schippers (Public Health) through the Senate via a side road. She finds it contrary to the Constitution and that it undermines the parliamentary system. The chairman expressed her criticism in the radio program De Ochtend.
Ankie Broekers-Knol (VVD) is the successor to Fred de Graaf as chairman of the Senate. There was a third round of voting necessary, but it Broekers stayed ahead of Hans Franken (CDA). The other candidates for the position were Guusje ter Horst (PvdA) and Marijke Linthorst (PvdA).