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.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte got support from a majority in the lower house of Dutch parliament for amendments he wants to add to the association agreement between the European Union and Ukraine so that the Netherlands can ratify it. In the Tweede Kamer on Tuesday the VVD, PvdA, D66 and GroenLinks supported his solution, NOS reports.
On Tuesday the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, voted in a legislative proposal by the D66 that makes the cultivation and transportation of cannabis in hashish legal under strict conditions. Now it has to pass through the Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate, though it is uncertain whether the bill will make it.
On Tuesday the lower house of Dutch parliament is voting on a D66 proposal that will put an end to the Netherlands' policy that cannabis may be sold in the country, but not cultivated. The law for regulated cannabis cultivation is very controversial, but seems to be able to count on a narrow majority of 76 votes, according to the Telegraaf.
The lower house of Dutch parliament is discussing a PVV legislative proposal today that wants to ensure that Zwarte Piet keeps his blackface makeup. According to initiator Martin Bosma, "for years there's been a war against Zwarte Piet" and that has to stop, the Telegraaf reports.
The Dutch Public Prosecutor wants to prosecute jihadists before their return to the Netherlands, while they are still in Syria and Iraq, national coordinating prosecutor Ferry van Veghel said in Nieuwsuur. "Given the high risk of people who come back from this area, we do not want to wait until they come back before opening criminal investigations. We want it all to start now and continue in their absence", he said.
More needs to be done in the fight against human trafficking, National Rapporteur on Human Trafficking and Sexual Violence Against Children Corinne Dettmeijer wrote in a letter to parliament. Her concerns about human trafficking has only grown over the past months as the capacity to fight this heinous crime is reduced, RTL Nieuws reports.
The lower house of Dutch parliament is debating a new data mining law that will give the Dutch intelligence services AIVD and MIVD the power to intercept data streams on large scales. The expectation is that the law will be voted in, as a majority in parliament already revealed support for the law, AD reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD) more clearly expressed his rejection of Donald Trump closing the American borders to people from seven Muslim countries. He did so during a parliamentary debate on the entry ban and at the insistence of several other parties.
According to D66 parliamentarian Kees Verhoeven, Donald Trump's decree to close the American borders to people from seven Muslim countries is "pure discrimination". In a parliamentary debate on the matter on Thursday he that the Dutch government makes a "strong noise against" this decree, a sentiment shared by a number of other parties. The Netherlands decided to suspend talks with American Border Patrol regarding the entry ban for the time being , AD reports.
A majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, wants a debate on new American president Donald Trump's decision to close the United States borders to asylum seekers and other people from seven Muslim countries. The D66 and GroenLinks first raised the call for a debate on Sunday and they are now supported by the PvdA, CDA, SP, ChristenUnie, PvdD, Group Kuzu/Ozturk and parliamentarian Norbert Klein, NU.nl reports.
VVD Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice is again under fire about his role in a controversial deal Fred Teeven made with drug criminal Cees H. in 2001. A book journalist Bas Haan wrote about this deal revealed that Van der Steur deliberately withheld information from parliament, first as a parliamentarian and then when he took office as Minister. The VVD also had this information, the Volkskrant reports.
Three quarters of people in the Netherlands are against texting and using a smartphone while cycling, according to a survey commissioned by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, the Telegraaf reports.
The survey was done among a representative group of 554 people over the age of 18 years. 70 percent of respondents described using a smartphone while cycling as an "urgent problem". Of the respondents over the age of 55 years, a massive 90 percent saw it that way. While among young people, only half see it as an urgent problem.
It seems that political parties in the Netherlands used the current parliament as example when setting up their candidate lists for the parliamentary elections on March 15th. The vast majority of candidates are well-educated, have political experience and come from the Randstad. And, unless voters opt differently with their preference votes, the new parliament will be two-thirds middle age men, Trouw reports based on an analysis by the University of Leiden's Parliamentary Documentation Center.
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.
A mentally disturbed man caused havoc on the Dutch government complex the Binnenhof in The Hague on Thursday afternoon. He threw a bag at the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, from the square in front of it. The square was evacuated, surrounding streets were closed down for several hours and warning shots were fired before the man was finally arrested, the Telegraaf reports.
When European Commissioner Frans Timmermans was a PvdA parliamentarian in 2010, he did nothing for six months because he had not be given the party's Foreign Affairs portfolio, Home Affairs Minister Ronald Plasterk said in an interview with the Volkskrant. Plasterk was also a parliamentarian at the time.
A total of 42 Dutch parliamentarians resigned since the previous election in 2012. That is the most of any cabinet since 1981, the Financieele Dagblad reports based on data from the Parliamentary Documentation Center of Leiden University. On average 35 parliamentarians resign during a typical four year term of government.
The government will not make a decision this year on closing the coal plants in the Netherlands, sources in The Hague told news wire ANP. This is expected to annoy parliament, who wants Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs to make haste with the closure of the plants.
While registering and identifying arriving asylum seekers with institutions like the IND, police, and COA goes well, too little time and equipment are available to properly identify and track down asylum seekers with terrorist plans, the Security and Justice Inspectorate says in a a report, NOS reports.
While the Netherlands often goes farther than neighboring countries in the field of counterterrorism measures, many anti-terror laws are still waiting to be implemented, according to Dutch parliamentarians. This needs to change as soon as possible, was the sentiment in the Tweede Kamer during a debate on the attack in Berlin on Monday, the Telegraaf reports.
The Tweede Kamer is the lower house of Dutch parliament.
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.
A 65-year-old man was found guilty of threatening DENK parliamentarian Tunahan Kuzu on Facebook and sentenced to 60 hours of community service by the court in The Hague on Monday. Half of the sentence is conditionally suspended, ANP reports.