Senate (Netherlands)

The Senate (Dutch: Eerste Kamer der Staten-Generaal [ˈeːrstə ˈkaːmər dɛr ˈstaːtə(n) ˌɣeːnəˈraːl] or simply Eerste Kamer [ˈeːrstə ˈkaːmər] (listen), literally "First Chamber", or sometimes Senaat [səˈnaːt]) is the upper house of the States General, the legislature of the Netherlands. Its 75 members are elected on lists by the members of the twelve States-Provincial and three Caribbean electoral colleges for the Senate every four years, within three months of the provincial elections. All provinces and colleges have different electoral weight depending on their population.

Senate

Eerste Kamer der Staten-Generaal
States General of the Netherlands
Type
Type
Leadership
Jan Anthonie Bruijn, VVD
since 2 July 2019
First Vice President
Arda Gerkens, SP
since 9 July 2019
Second Vice President
Joop Atsma, CDA
since 16 March 2021
Structure
Seats75
Political groups
Government (32)
  •   VVD (12)
  •   CDA (9)
  •   D66 (7)
  •   CU (4)

Opposition (43)

Length of term
4 years
Elections
Indirect party-list proportional
Last election
27 May 2019[1]
Next election
2023
Meeting place
Senate plenary chamber, Binnenhof, The Hague
Website
www.eerstekamer.nl

Members of the Senate tend to be veteran or part-time politicians at the national level, often having other roles. They receive an allowance which is about a quarter of the salary of the members of the lower house. Unlike the politically more significant House of Representatives, it meets only once a week.

It has the right to accept or reject legislative proposals but not to amend them or to initiate legislation. Directly after a bill has been passed by the House of Representatives, it is sent to the Senate and is submitted to a parliamentary committee. The committee decides whether the bill can be immediately put on the agenda of the full chamber or if there should first be preparatory study of the bill. If a bill is immediately put on the agenda of the full chamber, it is passed as a formality without a debate.