The House of Representatives and Senate

In the Netherlands, parliament consists of the Eerste Kamer (Senate) and the Tweede Kamer (House of Representatives). Both houses have a number of rights to allow them to perform their duties effectively. Legislation can only come into force after it has been passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

House of Representatives

The 150 members of the House of Representatives are directly elected by Dutch voters every four years. The House of Representatives has two main duties:

  • scrutinising the government;
  • approving or rejecting bills.

The House also has the right to introduce or amend bills itself. The government is obliged to provide parliament with all the information it requires to fulfil its duty of scrutiny. This obligation is laid down in the Constitution.


The 75 members of the Senate are elected by the members of the Provincial Councils  every four years, following the provincial council elections. The Senate’s main duty is to approve or reject bills. The Senate does not have the right to amend bills.