The parliamentary debate on the national budget on Thursday was apparently not exciting enough to keep the attention of all those present. Ministers Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security and Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management were caught watching football while Prime Minister Mark Rutte spoke.
The ruling cabinet in the Netherlands outlined a plan for 2020 that includes an extra 350 million euros to respond to problems on the housing market, 300 million euros to tackle issues related to youth care, and 134 million euros on asylum procedures and migration. Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance presented the Rutte III government's budget for next year to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, on Tuesday.
Today is Budget Day, or Prinsjesdag, in the Netherlands. This is the official opening of the parliamentary year. King Willem-Alexander will give a speech and the government will present its budget plans for next year. Here's what to expect.
Dutch journalists and aid workers will soon need permission from the Ministry of Justice and Security to work in areas controlled by terrorists. A majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, on Tuesday approved a legislative amendment by Justice Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus to this effect, NOS reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte lashed out at PVV parliamentarian Raymond de Roon over a sexist remark he made during a parliamentary debate on top European appointments on Thursday. While discussing the appointment of German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen as president of the European Commission, De Roon spoke of "a ladies' circle" and Rutte could not contain his irritation, AD reports.
The victims of the Second World War in the former Dutch East Indies were commemorated in the building of the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, on Wednesday. The presidents of the Eerste Kamer and Tweede Kamer, Jan Anthonie Bruijn and Khadija Arib, placed a wreath at the memorial plaque in the building, NOS reports.
The commemoration consisted of a short ceremony, with speeches by Arib and others, and a minute of silence.
Every year hundreds of Dutch children are left abroad by their parents. With the summer vacation around the corner, a majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, is calling on the government to make it punishable to leave your children in a foreign country, RTL Nieuws reports.
Ruling party VVD wants idealists who without permission rescue migrants from rickety boats at sea to be prosecuted for facilitating human trafficking. A proposal submitted to this effect received majority support in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, AD reports.
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.
Foundation Strijd tegen Misbruik is demanding that the Netherlands bans the pedophile manual - an over 1 thousand page handbook which explains in detail how pedophiles can lure, groom, and abuse children, and how to do so without anyone finding out. The foundation against abuse will take the matter to court if the government refuses to intervene, AD reports.
The Jewish people put up "very little resistance" in World War Two, exacerbating the Holocaust, said Toine Beukering in an interview with the Telegraaf. The 60-year-old former brigadier general has never served in politics, but has been put forward by far right wing nationalist party Forum voor Democratie as a candidate to lead the Dutch senate.
New rules around public broadcasting in the Netherlands means that the broadcasters will no longer be distributed before 8 p.m. The websites of the broadcasters will also go completely ad-free when the rules take effect, according to NOS.
The new strategy will be put forward by Arie Slob, the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education and Media. His letter to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, was not yet released on Wednesday afternoon.
A petition by the Red Cross to give all high school pupils first aid lessons was signed by more than 50 thousand people. According to the Red Cross, teenagers and young people want to help victims of a car accident for example, but they know too little about how to do it and are therefore afraid. If they are taught first aid at school, helping becomes easier, NOS reports.
Overdue maintenance on bridges and tunnels can lead to a traffic disaster on the Dutch road network, according to a study by engineering firm Sweco on behalf of Bouwend Nederland. Traffic organizations ANWB and TLN call on parliamentarians to intervene. "The flow to the periphery is seriously impeded; cities can become unreachable", the groups wrote in a letter to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, AD reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte delayed the publication of the planning offices' climate agreement calculations until after Budget Day, because he thought a debate about the climate would be "undesirable" at this point, Nieuwsuur reports based on documents it received by appealing to the Government Information Act. Opposition parties in parliament are outraged and want a quick explanation from Rutte about the pressure he exerted on the planning offices to delay this publication, NOS reports.
Mark Harbers resigned as State Secretary for Justice and Security on Tuesday evening. The VVD State Secretary, who is responsible for asylum, stepped down after it became known that his Ministry deliberately reported incomplete figures on crimes committed by asylum seekers in a report.
The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, wants to double the prison sentence for using or possessing a hand grenade from four to eight years. Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security approves of this proposal, AD reports.
The Ministry of Justice and Security hid the number of serious crimes committed by asylum seekers in the Netherlands by including crimes like sexual offenses, aggravated assaults, and murder and manslaughter or attempts thereto under the heading of "other" in figures released to parliament, the Telegraaf reports.
Dutch telecom provider KPN will work with controversial Chinese company Huawei for the construction of its 5G network, though a "western" company will be used for the "critical core" of this network, KPN said on Friday, NU.nl reports.
The partnership with Huawei will center around modernizing KPN's mobile network. According to the Dutch company, this collaboration is all about preparatory work and the agreement could be reversed to comply with Dutch government policy.
Gokmen T., the suspected gunman in a mass shooting in Utrecht on March 18th, assaulted a prison employee a few weeks before the attack on 24 Oktoberplein, Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security said in a letter to the Tweede Kamer, the Volkskrant reports.
A majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, want the number of night flights at Schiphol to be reduced. Some parties even want night flights to be scrapped completely. The Kamer will discuss aviation with Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management on Thursday, RTL Nieuws reports.
Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema and a majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, are all against extremist Christian preacher Steven Anderson visiting the Netherlands. The American preacher plans to do some "soul winning" and give a sermon in Amsterdam on May 23rd.
The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, currently has nearly 200 debates that still have to be held. New debates are added to the list almost daily. "I am a bit worried about that", Kamer president Khadija Arib said to RTL Nieuws.
Parliamentarians can request debates on topics that are in the news. "It is also an interaction between MPs and the media", Arib said. "If you request a debate, you as parliamentarian indicate that you think it is very important. A lot of debates are, of course, justified."