Eerste Kamer

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The Netherlands
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The Eerste Kamer (literally First Chamber in Dutch) is the Upper House or Senate of the Netherlands parliament, the States-General. (The Netherlands calls its Upper House the "First Chamber" and its Lower House the "Second Chamber", reversing the normal usage in other democracies.) It was established in 1815 when the Netherlands and Belgium emerged as a single state at the end of the Napoleonic wars and continued after Belgian independence in 1830.

It currently has 75 members, elected indirectly by 12 provincial councils every four years. Unlike the politically more significant Tweede Kamer, it meets only one day a week. Its members tend to be veteran politicians or part-time politicians at the national level, often having other roles. It has the right to accept or reject legislative bills, but does not have the right of amendment or initiate legislation.


[discuss] – [edit]
Composition of the Netherlands First Chamber after the 2003 indirect elections
Parties Seats
Christian Democratic Appeal (Christen-Democratisch Appèl) 23
Labour Party (Partij van de Arbeid) 19
People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie) 15
Green Left (GroenLinks) 5
Socialist Party (Socialistische Partij) 4
Democrats 66 (Democraten 66) 3
Christian Union (ChristenUnie) 2
Political Reformed Party (Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij) 2
List Pim Fortuyn (Lijst Pim Fortuyn) 1
Independent Senate Group (Onafhankelijke Senaatsfractie) 1
Total 75

[edit] External links

fr:Eerste Kamer nl:Eerste Kamer der Staten-Generaal

Eerste Kamer

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