31 mayors of larger Dutch cities are calling on the Senate not to remove the appointment of mayors from the Dutch constitution, and to keep the procedure as is. Removing the appointment procedure from the constitution is the first step in enabling an elected mayor. The mayors are worried that this will result in them losing their connecting role as "father or mother for all residents, businesses and institutions", they wrote in an open letter to the Senate, the Volkskrant reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte will investigate whether the burial chamber under the Eerste Kamer in The Hague can be opened to search for the remains of former statesman Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, who was beheaded at the Binnenhof nearly 400 years ago. Rutte is responding to requests from Van Oldenbarnevelt's relatives and questions from SP parliamentarian Ronald van Raak, RTL Nieuws reports.
VVD Senator Anne-Wil Duthler voted on a bill that her own company gave advice on, according to research platform Follow the Money. With that, Duthler acted unethically, experts said, NOS reports.
In 2013 the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports asked Duthler's consultancy firm to advise on the text of the Social Support Act, which transferred the responsibility of a number of healthcare tasks to the municipalities. According to Follow the Money, a number of the consultancy firm's recommendations were included in the final bill.
All but one of the opposition parties signed a GroenLinks legislative proposal to reverse the proposed abolition of dividend tax in 2020. With most of the opposition parties being against the controversial measure, it seems all but certain that the abolition of the dividend tax will play major roll in the Senate elections next year, NU.nl reports.
A 26-year-old man was arrested in connection with threats made against anti-Islam nationalist political party PVV or the Dutch parliamentary building complex, police announced. The arrest was made at the central train station in Den Haag on Tuesday, a day after the alleged threats were reported to police.
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 approved 12 proposals for municipal re-division. A total of 37 municipalities will be re-divided into 12 new municipalities, which means that from January 1st next year the Netherlands will have 355 municipalities, instead of 380, NU.nl reports.
A narrow majority in the Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate, voted in favor of abolishing the advisory referendum. Dutch parliament previously approved this measure, also with a narrow majority, and with that the referendum is officially scrapped.
New students to Dutch universities and universities of applied sciences will pay only half their tuition from the next academic year. The Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate, approved cutting the tuition fees in half for first year students. Students starting teacher training will pay half tuition in their first two years of study, ANP reports.
After months of negotiations, the parliamentary factions of GroenLinks, PvdA, VVD, CDA, D66, ChristenUnie and SP have reached an agreement on a new Climate Act for the Netherlands, NU.nl reports.
The proposed law states that the Netherlands has to reduce its emissions by 49 percent in 2030 and 95 percent in 2050 compared to emission levels in 1990. By 2050 all energy in the Netherlands must be generated sustainably.
A new law adopted by the Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate, on Tuesday allows the Dutch police to hack suspects' devices like smartphones, laptops, security cameras and navigation systems. Previously only the intelligence services had that capability, RTL Nieuws reports.
A majority consisting of the VVD, PvdA, CDA, ChristenUnie and D66 voted for the law, officially called Computer Crime Act III. GroenLinks, SP, 50Plus, PvdD and PVV voted against. It will be implemented on January 1st next year. The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, approved the law in December.
A majority in the Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate, is in favor of a partial ban on wearing face-covering clothing. During a debate in the Senate, the VVD, CDA, PVV, ChristenUnie and SGP supported a legislative proposal for such a ban. The D66, SP, PvdA and GroenLinks are against it, NOS reports.
Between six and 10 Dutch municipalities will experiment with regulated cannabis cultivation and sale, according to a bill sent to the police, the Public Prosecutor and the Association of Dutch municipalities, among others, the Volkskrant reports.
The experiment will last for five years and two months, one year of which will be used on preparation. Cannabis cultivators will be recruited through a tender. For the period of the experiment, they will only be allowed to grow weed for the experiment, and not for other sales.
The Dutch Senate voted in favor of a new law that automatically makes every adult living in the Netherlands an organ donor. Adults will have to explicitly opt-out of being a donor if they do not wish to participate in the life saving medical procedure.
Marleen Barth, PvdA leader in the Eerste Kamer, announced her resignation on Thursday. She decided to step down because she no longer wants to burden the PvdA with negative publicity about her, she said, according to RTL Nieuws.
A debate on the new, highly controversial, organ donation law in the Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate, went on well into the night on Tuesday, but did not come to a decisive end. The Senators want initiator, D66 parliamentarian Pia Dijkstra, to first clarify a number of questions and therefore decided to postpone voting on the law by a week, NOS reports.
D66 parliamentarian Sjoerd Sjoerdsma is calling for an internal investigation into sexual harassment in Dutch politics. According to him, the #MeToo trend drew a lot of much needed attention to this issue, but it should not be left with only media attention, NOS 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.
CDA Senator Ria Oomen also says she dealt with sexual harassment as a young politician. A Minister grabbed her breasts in the 1980's, she said during a debate about sexual harassment on regional broadcaster L1.
"He had a lot to drink and thought he was allowed certain things", Oomen said on L1. She didn't name the Minister, but did say that she set him straight immediately. "I slapped him on both sides of his face."
Secretive and long-ongoing cabinet formations in the the Netherlands is one of the weaknesses in the country's parliamentary system, according to the preliminary conclusions of a committee investigating the Dutch political system. The committee is led by Noord-Holland's commissioner for the King Johan Remkes, NOS reports.
A majority in the Tweede Kamer voted on Tuesday for an emergency legislative proposal to freeze the amount of healthcare own-risk deductibles at 385 euros next year. The Eerste Kamer also voted in the bill later on Tuesday, NU.nl reports.
The Binnenhof in The Hague was evacuated on Wednesday afternoon after the discovery of a suspicious package. All entrances to the square that holds the Netherlands' government and parliament buildings were blocked by police officers and Koninklijke Marechaussee. According to AD reporter Lex de Jonge, it was a false alarm.
A majority in the Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate, voted for implementing a new data mining law that will give the Dutch intelligence services the authority to intercept data on a large scale. The new law was drawn up by Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk and will take effect on January 1st, NOS reports.
On Tuesday the Dutch Senate voted in a legislative amendment which states that all immigrants to the Netherlands must sign a pledge to uphold and support Dutch values as part of their integration exam. This amendment to the Integration Law will take effect on October 1st, the Ministry of Social Affairs announced.