Provincial councils

Provincial councils consist of directly elected representatives. They set the main policy priorities and hold the provincial executive to account.

Provincial council committees

The council may establish provincial committees that each focus on a specific policy area, such as spatial planning and housing.

Provincial councils elect members of the Senate

Soon after every provincial election, provincial councils have the special task of electing the members of the Senate of the States General. So the members of the Senate are indirectly elected representatives.

Rights of provincial council members

Provincial council members:

  • are entitled to assistance from policy officers within the provincial apparatus. Council parties are also entitled to assistance with their tasks, such as collecting and processing information;
  • have the right to investigate the provincial executive’s policy;
  • have the right to submit proposals for new ordinances or plans;
  • have the right to amend proposals;
  • have the right to seek an emergency debate to question the provincial executive on a policy matter;
  • can ask the executive other questions orally or in writing.

Number of provincial council members

The members of the provincial council are directly elected for four years by voters resident in the province. The number of council members varies, according to the size of the province’s population. Flevoland and Zeeland have the smallest councils (39 members), North Brabant, North Holland and South Holland the largest (55 members).


Provincial council members receive remuneration, not a salary. Most members sit on the council in addition to holding a regular job.