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Author: Gilbert Bennett

Dutch Politics

Dutch Parliament

In The Netherlands, parliament is made up of two chambers. The first is a 150-member chamber known as the Lower House or the Second Chamber, elected quadrennially along with provincial parliaments. Only political parties can influence the Second Chamber. Its powers are listed as follows:

  • Budget approvals and right of legal initiative
  • Right to submit amendments
  • Right to start its own inquiries
  • Right of interpellation

The other chamber is referred to as the First Chamber, even though it is less important. It is also known as the Senate and consists of 75 members. Powers afforded to this part of parliament are as follows:

  • Reject or approve all laws without the right to amendment

Collectively, the First and Second Chambers form the State-General

As in the UK, the head of state is the leading monarch who in this case is the King. As the monarchy is of a constitutional nature, the King is referred to as a nominal head of state. His role is predominantly that of representation as he attends several functions. However, the King is afforded the power to nominate all mayors and the politicians that govern following an election. When a law is passed successfully, the King signs it as such.

Much like the UK, the Prime Minister is the head of state. He or she will be the leader of the political party that wins the most seats in an election. This leader is usually tasked to form a new government by the King. This will usually be a coalition of political parties.

The Constitution is a legal document that lists the basic civil and social rights that are afforded to all citizens of the Netherlands. It also outlines the function of institutions that hold executive, judiciary as well as legislative powers.

Fatma Koser Kaya

Fatma Koser Kaya is a 46 year old former Dutch politician, having been a Member of Parliament for Democrats 66, also known as D66. This party is categorised as a social-liberal party, with Fatma Koser Kaya serving from 2004 to 2012. Kaya then became the deputy mayor for Wassenar for a period of 2 years there after. As a professional she trained as an attorney, working at FNV and eventually becoming a Union lawyer. Her successful career also saw her earn the position of deputy district judge in Gouda, where she also worked on social issues and pension legislation as well as being a member of the parlaimentary inquiry committee.

Career Profile

  • Civil Chambers Registrar at the Court of the Hague from 1992 to 1993
  • Research Assistant at Max Planck Institute during the later part of 1993
  • Lawyer at Kaya, Nijland and Visser Attorneys for a period of 4 years, leading up to the beginning of 1998
  • Dutch Trade Unions Federation employed her services as a union lawyer until the later part of 2003
  • She then joined the Old North law firm for a period of a year, based in Utrecht. This covers 2003 – 2004
  • Membership to the House of Representatives then followed from 2004 until 2012
  • From then Fatma took up the role of Alderman, covering a range of responsibilitie including:
    • Soicail affairs
    • Education
    • Welfare, housing and the environment

Fatma has also been a guest on the political conversation covering issues from the war in Iraq to immigration intergration and entrepreneurship.