Left-wing opposition parties GroenLinks and PvdA are demanding some changes to the Climate Agreement before they will support it in the Senate. "If you think that we are applauding, then you are wrong", PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher said during the first parliamentary debate on the Agreement on Wednesday, NOS reports. "If there are no concrete solutions, you can forget our support."
Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs wants to improve the gender balance in politics by actively focusing on recruiting and interviewing female candidates for the positions of mayor, Minister and King’s Commissioner. Her goal is to have between 40 percent and 60 percent of political positions filled by women in the future, she said in a letter to parliament.
Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations plans to make changes to the ways the Netherlands elects members of both the Eerste Kamer and Tweede Kamer. She wants to introduce a new electoral system in which preference votes on candidates are given more weight, NRC and Volkskrant report based on sources around the government.
The executive committee of the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, asked former D66 leader Alexander Pechtold to lead the renovation of the Binnenhof in The Hague, State Secretary Raymond Knops of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations said in a letter on Wednesday evening. Pechtold was chosen to be "process chairman" due to his "knowledge and expertise", Knops said, NOS reports.
Facebook is not keeping to promises it made to the Tweede Kamer last week about political transparency on the social media platform, according to privacy and civil rights movement Bits of Freedom who put the social media giant's promises to the test, Nieuwsuur reports.
The Dutch data protection authority AP is investigating possible ethnic profiling by the Tax Authority. There are indications that the Tax Authority used information about people's second nationality to determine whose childcare allowance was halted, RTL Nieuws and Trouw report.
People with disabilities in the Netherlands still experience difficulties when going to cast their votes. After the Provincial States elections the voting hotline of the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights received 188 reports about the accessibility of polling stations, compared to 148 reports after the municipal elections in 2018, NOS reports.
The Netherlands will implement its burka ban, officially called the Partial Ban On Face Covering Clothing Act, on August 1st. From that day on no face covering clothing may be worn in education, in government buildings, in healthcare and on public transit, AD reports.
Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs wants to prevent social housing from ending up with people who are not entitled to them. She is therefore sharply increasing the fine for illegal subletting, from over 20 thousand euros to 83 thousand euros, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Minister is amending the Housing Act to make the higher fines possible. Soon municipalities will be able to immediately impose a 20 thousand euro fine for a first offense. The fine can increase to 83 thousand euros for people repeatedly caught illegally subletting a social rental home.
The police had to remove a man from the public gallery in the Tweede Kamer on Wednesday afternoon for disrupting the parliamentary debate. The man tried to start a discussion with State Secretary Raymond Knops of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations by screaming at him from the gallery. The elderly man seemed to be confused and could barely stand on his feet, AD reports.
The Dutch voting software OSV will also be used in the Provincial States election on March 20th. Over the past years, multiple vulnerabilities have been found in the software.
Facebook will not be able to guarantee that the company is transparent about the placement of political advertisements before the provincial states elections next month, Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations wrote in a letter to parliament, NOS reports.
Over 24 million euros in non-active allowance payments were made to 229 former Dutch politicians over the past six years, the Telegraaf reports based on figures from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations.
Non-active allowance is an allowance paid to former politicians while they're waiting for a new job or their pension benefits to start. Between September 2012 and the end of 2018 a total of 186 former parliamentarians, 18 former Ministers, and 15 former State Secretaries made use of this allowance, according to the newspaper.
The four large Dutch cities - Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague - will have the opportunity to present their wish lists in the area of mobility and housing during a special meeting with the government next week. This meeting will happen with Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Ministers Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure in Utrecht on Wednesday, sources in The Hague confirmed to AD after reports in NRC.
Iran is almost certainly behind the assassination of two persons of Iranian descent in the Netherlands, Ministers Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs and Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs wrote in a letter to parliament on Tuesday.
A mistake was made in a survey intended to gauge what the Dutch population thinks about daylight savings time. In one question about implementing permanent summer time the survey states that the sun will set at around 8:00 p.m. at the end of June, while in fact the sun will set at around 10:00 p.m., NOS reports.
The vast majority of Dutch are for scrapping daylight savings time, according to a survey among over 1,800 Dutch ordered by Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom relations. 41 percent want to keep winter time all year, approximately a quarter want summer time to be the standard time, and another quarter want to stick to the current system of adjusting the clock twice a year, NOS reports.
The Dutch government is launching an online campaign against fake news in February, in the run up to the Provincial State and European Parliament elections next year. The campaign must make Dutch voters more aware of the possible presence of disinformation and help people recognize it, Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs said in a letter to parliament, NOS reports.
The campaign will be spread on social media and last for around four months, through the Provincial States election on March 20th and up to the European Parliament elections on May 23rd.
Between 6 thousand and 9 thousand people permanently live in a vacation home in one of the Veluwe's vacation parks, Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs wrote to parliament. The Ministry investigated to gain more insight into the nature and scale of the permanent occupancy of vacation parks, NOS reports.
The burka ban will apply to everyone, also the Netherlands' large cities, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in reaction to the news that the large cities won't prioritize enforcement of this ban on face covering clothing. "Let us first implement the law. Then the big cities will see that it also applies to them", he said.
The Dutch government is planning to launch a campaign against fake news in the run-up to the elections for the Provincial State and European Parliament. In a letter to parliament, Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations said that the government wants to make citizens more aware of misinformation around the elections, NOS report.
A broadly shared wish of Dutch parliamentarians to recover dozens of World War II aircraft wrecks with missing crew members, is one step closer. The government is launching an "national program" to recover these wrecks, Ministers Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Ank Bijleveld of Defense said in a letter to parliament, NOS reports.
Hundreds of people gathered on the Grote Markt in Haarlem on Sunday to express support for mayor Jos Wienen, who recently went into hiding due to threats. Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations and a number of parliamentarians also attended the manifestation, NOS reports.
"Hands off Jos Wienen", Ollongren said in Haarlem. "The threats to Wienen were so bad that he had to go into hiding. That is unacceptable in a democratic constitutional state."
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.