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Politics of the Netherlands facts for kids

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Mark Rutte 2015 (1)
Prime Minister Mark Rutte

The politics of the Netherlands is that of an indirect democracy. It has a constitution and a monarchy that operates within the constitution. The democratic structure is determined by a parliament (the legislative branch) and a government (the executive branch). The government depends on the confidence of the parliament, but the two branches aren't strictly separated (the parliamentary system).

The parliament is called the States General (Dutch: Staten-Generaal) and consists of two chambers: a lower house, the so-called Second Chamber (Dutch: Tweede Kamer), comparable with the House of Representatives in other countries, and a upper house, the so-called First Chamber (Dutch: Eerste Kamer), comparable with the Senate in other countries, and often called likewise.

At a lower level, there are provinces, municipalities and water boards.

On a higher level, the Netherlands makes part of the Benelux, Council of Europe, European Union, NATO and the United Nations.

The Netherlands is officially called the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is composed of four countries: the Netherlands itself (the European part) and three island countries in the Caribbean: Aruba, Curaçao and Saint Martin. Three other islands in the Caribbean that belong to the Netherlands have a status of special municipalities of the Netherlands, the so-called Caribbean Netherlands.


Current government is the Third Rutte cabinet, a coalition of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD, a conservative liberal party), the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA, a Christian democratic party), Democrats 66 (D66, a social liberal party), and the ChristianUnion (CU, an orthodox Christian democratic party).

The Third Rutte Cabinet was established on October 26, 2017. Prime Minister has been VVD politician Mark Rutte since 2010.

Political parties

The following 14 political parties are in parliament:

No more in parliament:

  • DS'70 - Democratic Socialists '70 (Dutch: Democratisch Socialisten '70), a former moderate social democratic party, a split from the PvdA.
  • LPF - Pim Fortuyn List (Dutch: Lijst Pim Fortuyn), a former populist party established by the in 2002 murdered politician Pim Fortuyn.

Political leaders

Political leaders since 2021, sorted by the number of seats in parliament.

Related pages

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Gobierno y política de los Países Bajos para niños

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