For the first time in Dutch history on Tuesday the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, held a children's question hour. A total of 150 children from primary schools across the country took the places of parliamentarians and asked the government about matters that concern them, NOS reports.
The second day of the General Political Considerations, the parliamentary debate on the government's plans and budget for the next year, started on Friday morning with parliamentarians briefly commemorating four children who were killed in a railway accident in Oss on Thursday morning, NOS reports.
The police will hinder train travelers at Utrecht Central Station during rush hour on Monday morning as part of their labor actions for a better collective bargaining agreement. Police officers will form a line at the station and passengers will only be able to enter through gaps in the line, ANP reports.
This action will happen between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Travelers should take delays into account, according to the police unions. According to the municipality of Utrecht, agreements were made with the police unions and the municipality expects no hindrance to the public.
PVV leader Geert Wilders is allowed to organize a Mohammed-cartoon competition in the Tweede Kamer building. The Dutch coordinator for counter-terrorism and security NCTV sees no safety risks because the exhibition will be held in the PVV chambers, which are highly secured and private, a spokesperson for the NCTV confirmed to RTL Nieuws.
"The NCTV has informed the Tweede Kamer [the lower house of Dutch parliament] that it has no objection to the exhibition from a safety point of view", the spokesperson said.
A legislative proposal by PVV parliamentarians Sietse Fritsma and Machiel de Graaf to send criminal Antilleans back to Aruba, Curacao or Sint Maarten got no support from other parties in parliament. "This is not possible and we should also not want this", CDA parliamentarian Madeleine van Toorenburg said in a debate in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, NOS reports.
A "new, more upscale" Dutch flag was placed in the large parliamentary chamber of the Tweede Kamer on Tuesday, after criticism on the appearance of the temporary flag.
Late last year a temporary flag was placed in the chamber on the initiative of the SGP and PVV. Critics called the flag too small and said that the foot in which the flag stood looked like a piece of cheese, according to ANP.
A man who jumped off the public gallery in the Tweede Kamer on Wednesday, was trying to commit suicide in an attempt to "shake politicians awake", the 65-year-old cannabis activist from Groenlo said in a suicide note posted on Facebook, the Telegraaf reports.
The man survived his attempted suicide and is currently in hospital.
A visitor to the Tweede Kamer jumped off the public gallery during a parliamentary debate on organized crime on Thursday. Eyewitnesses claim it was an attempted suicide, though this has not yet been confirmed, NU.nl reports.
The parliamentary debate was halted and the meeting chamber evacuated. The man was taken to hospital, injured but alive, a spokesperson for the Hague police said to NU.nl.
The spokesperson confirmed that the man jumped off the gallery himself. Attempted suicide is one of the scenarios the police are investigating.
Turkish media sources are targeting five Dutch parliamentarians with a Turkish background, calling them traitors after the Tweede Kamer officially recognized the Armenian Genocide. They've also received threats via social media, two of them confirmed to RTL Nieuws. Tweede Kamer president Khadija Arib called this "unacceptable".
Netherlands members of parliament will permit an investigation to determine whether a pattern of sexual harassment and sexual intimidation occurs in the Dutch government. After the summer, employees will be asked whether they have had to endure unwanted intimacies, according to a policy approved by the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament.
Despite fierce resistance from opposition parties, a narrow majority in the Tweede Kamer supports the government's plan to abolish the advisory referendum. There will also be no referendum on this abolishment, AD reports.
Departing Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem is giving up his parliamentary seat and leaving politics, he announced in a letter to Tweede Kamer president Khadija Arib on Tuesday evening. According to Dijsselbloem, he lacks the "firepower" the PvdA needs to function well as opposition party with only 9 seats, NU.nl reports.
Government formation mediator Gerrit Zalm is delivering the new Dutch government agreement to Tweede Kamer president Khadija Arib at around 1:00 p.m. Some time after that, the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie will present their plans to the press and parliamentarians, the Volkskrant reports.
The government agreement contains the new coalition's plans for the coming years. A summary of leaked details can be seen here.
Edith Schipers, the mediator in the Dutch government formation talks, plans to contniue exploring to find the best way to form the new Dutch government, despite the current impasse. She asked the party leaders to keep themselves available for meetings on Friday, Schippers reported to Tweede Kamer presidend Khadija Arib on Wednesday, NU.nl reports.
VVD leader Mark Rutte is carefully considering the next steps in the Dutch cabinet formation now that negotiations between his party, the CDA, D66 and GroenLinks collapsed. He is clear on one thing however - the VVD still won't rule with anti-Islam nationalist Geert Wilders and his PVV, he said to RTL Nieuws.
Khadija Arib (PvdA) will be the president of the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, for the next governing period. Until 10:00 a.m. this morning parliamentarians could present themselves as candidate for the presidency, Arib was the only one to do so. She will be officially appointed on Wednesday, NOS reports.
Edith Schippers will present her report on the exploratory talks with the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks on forming a cabinet to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, on Monday. Temporary Kamer president Khadija Arib will receive the report at 10:00 a.m., AD 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.
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.
Former PvdA leader Diederik Samsom said goodbye to Dutch parliament on Tuesday. He left the Tweede Kamer to loud applause, with many parliamentarians standing on their feet, NOS reports.
Samsom is leaving after he lost the election for PvdA leader to current Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher. Kamer president Khadija Arib read his farewell letter to the parliamentarians.
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