Parliament's rights and duties

In the Netherlands, the Senate and the House of Representatives and the Senate have a number of rights to enable them to perform their duties effectively.

Parliament's right to assess the budget

This is the right to assess, approve or reject the central government’s expenditure (as laid down in the national budget) and income (tax revenues). In this way, parliament determines together with the government how much public money is spent and what it is spent on.

Parliament's right of inquiry

Parliament is entitled to instigate a parliamentary investigation into a specific issue, without reference to the government. The most serious form of investigation is a parliamentary inquiry, during which witnesses, including members of the government, can be questioned under oath.

Parliament's right to question members of government

Any member of parliament can call a minister or state secretary to account and ask them questions, for example during question time on Tuesday afternoon or during an emergency debate. The minister or state secretary is obliged to answer these questions.

Parliament's right to introduce motions

The House of Representatives can express an opinion on a specific issue through a motion. A motion can be used, for example, to request the preparation of certain measures, evaluation of a policy or additional funds. The government is not obliged to act in response to a motion, except in the case of a motion of no confidence. The House then withdraws its confidence in a minister or the government, and they have no other choice than to resign.

You can find more information on the rights of parliament on the website of the House of Representatives.