Municipal politics in the Netherlands
Municipal politics in the Netherlands is an important aspect of the politics of the Netherlands. The municipality is the lowest level of government, but this does not reflect the importance that the Amsterdam and Rotterdam governments play in Dutch political life. There are a total of 390 municipalities in the Netherlands. In municipal politics there are three functions: the municipal council and the Aldermen. Together they share legislative power; the mayor chairs the council of mayor and aldermen. The council of mayor and aldermen exercise the executive power of the municipal government; the relationship between the aldermen and the municipal council is dualistic. That is, they have separate responsibilities. Additionally many larger municipalities have Gemeentelijke Rekenkamer which oversees the finances of the municipality. Moreover, the two largest municipalities and Rotterdam, have been further divided in boroughs called deelgemeenten; the mayor chairs both the council of the municipal council.
He is a member of the council of mayor and aldermen and has his own portfolios including safety and public order. He has a representative role, as the head of the municipal government, he is appointed by the national government for a renewable six-year term. When a vacancy occurs the municipal council and King´s Commissioner express their preferences to the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations; the Minister follows the preferences of the municipal council. All mayors are member of a national political party, but they are expected to exercise their office in a non partisan fashion; the municipal council is the elected assembly of the municipality. Its main role is laying down the guidelines for the policy of the council of mayor and aldermen and exercising oversight over the implementation of policy by the council of mayor and aldermen; the municipal council is elected every four years by the general populace. In many municipalities all major political parties contest in the election in addition to local parties.
In most major, municipalities all major parties are represented in the municipal council, while in smaller, municipalities only the largest parties and a local party have seats in the municipal council. All citizens and foreigners who live in the Netherlands for at least four years in a municipality have the right to vote and all citizens can be elected and state secretaries in the national government are barred from standing in elections as well as mayors and civil servants employed by the municipality; the number of members of municipal council depends on the number of inhabitants. After the elections the parties in the states elect the aldermen; the municipal council is supported by its own civil service headed by the raadsgriffier. Municipal councillors are not paid as full-time politicians: instead most of them have day jobs. Like most legislatures, the members of municipal councils work in both political groups and policy area related committees; the mayor chairs the meetings of the municipal council.
The Aldermen together with the mayor form the College van Wethouders. This is the executive council of the municipalities; the members of the Council of Mayor and Aldermen all have their own portfolio on which they prepare and plan policy and legislation for the municipal council and implement legislation. The College van B&W have the duty to inform the municipal council on all aspects of their policy; the College van B&W functions a collegial body and most decisions are taken by consensus. An alderman will lose his position if the municipal council adopts a motion of no-confidence against him. Aldermen are elected by the municipal council, they cannot be member of the municipal council, although aldermen used to be members of the municipal council. The aldermen can be appointed in two ways. Either as program council or a mirror council. A program council is based on a political program negotiated by a group of parties which has a majority in the municipal council, while a mirror council represents all parties represents in the municipal legislature.
Until 1970 all municipalities were mirror municipalities and after the dualisation of municipal politics most council of aldermen and mayor have become programmatic. Those executives include two or more parties with ideological links; the local executive of Rotterdam in the years 2002 until 2006 for example included the Christian Democratic Appeal, the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy and the locally based Livable Rotterdam. The Labour Party, the second largest party of Rotterdam, was kept out of the executive because of ideological conflicts with Leefbaar Rotterdam; the same happened in city of Groningen, where a left wing executive was appointed on 26 April 2006. It consists of the Socialist Party and GroenLinks; some municipal councils allow parties to have dual councillors, politicians who are not elected into the municipal council but are allowed to speak in committees. In 2002 the municipalities were drastically reformed. Before all aldermen remained member of the municipal council.
The municipal council had all the competences in a municipality and it delegated competences to the council of aldermen and mayor. The council of aldermen and mayor de facto functioned as the executive council of the municipality, but de jure they were little more than a powerful committee. In 2002 the responsibilities of municipal council and council of aldermen and mayor were delineated and ald
Burgomaster is the English form of various terms in or derived from Germanic languages for the chief magistrate or executive of a city or town. The name in English was derived from the Dutch burgemeester. In some cases, Burgomaster was the title of the head of state and head of government of a sovereign city-state, sometimes combined with other titles, such as Hamburg's First Mayor and President of the Senate). Contemporary titles are translated into English as mayor. In history in many free imperial cities the function of burgomaster was held by three persons, serving as an executive college. One of the three being burgomaster in chief for a year, the second being the prior burgomaster in chief, the third being the upcoming one. Präsidierender Bürgermeister is now an obsolete formulation sometimes found in historic texts. In an important city in a city state, where one of the Bürgermeister has a rank equivalent to that of a minister-president, there can be several posts called Bürgermeister in the city's executive college, justifying the use of a compound title for the actual highest magistrate, such as: Regierender Bürgermeister in West Berlin and reunited Berlin, while in Berlin the term Bürgermeister without attribute – English Mayor – refers to his deputies, while the heads of the 12 boroughs of Berlin are called Bezirksbürgermeister, English borough mayor.
Erster Bürgermeister in Hamburg Bürgermeister und Präsident des Senats in Bremen Amtsbürgermeister can be used for the chief magistrate of a Swiss constitutive canton, as in Aargau 1815–1831 Bürgermeister, in German: in Germany, South Tyrol, in Switzerland. In Switzerland, the title was abolished mid-19th century. Oberbürgermeister is the most common version for a mayor in a big city in Germany; the Ober- prefix is used in many ranking systems for the next level up including military designations. The mayors of cities, which comprise one of Germany's 112 urban districts bear this title. Urban districts are comparable to independent cities in the English-speaking world; however the mayors of some cities, which do not comprise an urban district, but used to comprise one until the territorial reforms in the 1970s, bear the title Oberbürgermeister. Borgmester Borgarstjóri Borgermester Börgermester Burgomaestre Purkmistr Burgumaisu Borgomastro or Sindaco-Borgomastro: in few communes of Lombardy Burgemeester in Dutch: in Belgium a party-political post, though formally nominated by the regional government and answerable to it, the federal state and the province.
Mayor. In the Netherlands nominated by the municipal council but appointed by the crown. In theory above the parties, in practice a high-profile party-political post. Bourgmestre in Belgium and the Democratic Republic of the Congo Bürgermeister Burmistras, derived from German. Buergermeeschter Polgármester, derived from German. Burmistrz, a mayoral title, derived from German; the German form Oberbürgermeister is translated as Nadburmistrz. The German-derived terminology reflects the involvement of German settlers in the early history of many Polish towns. Borgmästare, kommunalborgmästare. Boargemaster Pormestari In the Netherlands and Belgium, the mayor is an appointed government position, whose main responsibility is chairing the executive and legislative councils of a municipality. In the Netherlands, mayors chair both the council of the municipal council, they are members of the council of mayor and aldermen and have their own portfolios, always including safety and public order. They have a representative role for the municipal government, both to its civilians and to other authorities on the local and national level.
A large majority of mayors are members of a political party. This can be the majority party in the municipal council. However, the mayors are expected to exercise their office in a non-partisan way; the mayor is appointed by the national government for a renewable six-year term. In the past, mayors for important cities were chosen after negotiations between the national parties; this appointment procedure has been criticised. The party D66 had a direct election of the mayor as one of the main objectives in its platform. In the early 2000s, proposals for change were discussed in the national parliament. However
Water board (Netherlands)
Dutch water boards are regional government bodies charged with managing water barriers, water levels, water quality and sewage treatment in their respective regions. These regional water authorities are among the oldest forms of local government in the Netherlands, some of them having been founded in the 13th century. Around 26 percent of the area of the Netherlands is at or below sea level and several branches of the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta run through this small country. There always was a good deal of coastal and river flooding. Flood control in the Netherlands is a national priority, since about two thirds of the country is vulnerable to flooding, while at the same time it is one of the most densely populated areas on Earth. Natural sand dunes and man-made dikes and floodgates provide defense against storm surges from the sea. River dikes prevent flooding of land by the major rivers Rhine and Meuse, while a complicated system of drainage ditches and pumping stations keep the low-lying parts dry for habitation and agriculture.
Water boards are independent local government bodies responsible for maintaining this system. An Unie van Waterschappen promotes the interests of Dutch water boards at a national and international level. All 21 water boards are members of this association; the Unie van Waterschappen acts collaboratively with other appropriate bodies or institutions to pursue the Association's objectives. It is a member of the European Union of Water Management Associations; this method of controlling water emerged as the unpredictable water was tamed and the land drained for agriculture. The first dikes and water control structures were built and maintained by those directly benefiting from them farmers; as the structures got more extensive and complex, councils were formed from people with a common interest in control of water levels of their land. The first water boards were formed in the 13th century; these controlled only a small area, a single polder or dike. As these boards became better organised, the counts of Holland began granting charters to the boards.
They were granted the right to make their own bylaws. The ever-present threat of loss of life and land required short lines of communication between authorities and residents who maintained the infrastructure; the threat of flooding in a heerlijkheid was best dealt with by local authorities, so water boards were chaired by the local nobility. Local water boards were set up to maintain integrity of water defences around local polders, to maintain waterways inside polders and to control various water levels in and outside local polders; the mandate of these water boards was maintenance of dikes and waterways, control of water level and quality of all surface water. The original water boards varied much in organisation and area they managed; the differences were dictated by different circumstances, whether they had to defend a sea dike against a storm surge or keep water level in a polder within bounds. Hoogheemraadschappen were responsible for protecting the land against the sea and for regulating water levels of various canals and lakes into which water was pumped from polders and waterschappen.
Dikes were maintained by individuals who benefited from their existence, every farmer was designated a part of a dike to maintain, with a review every three years by the water board directors. The old rule was "Whom the water harms stops the water"; this meant that those living at the dike had to care for it. Those people could go bankrupt from having to repair a breached dike; those living further inland refused to pay for or assist upkeep of dikes though they were just as much affected by floods. This system led to haphazard maintenance and it is believed that many floods would be prevented or mitigated if dikes had been in better condition. Punishments meted out by water boards were fines for misdemeanors such as emptying waste in the nearest canal. In the 17th century there were many of these independent local bodies levying their own taxes and administering justice; this early form of local government played a role in the development of a political system in the Netherlands, decentralised and dependent on communal cooperation.
Widespread experience with decentralized government was a factor in the formation of the Dutch Republic in the 16th and 17th centuries. The mandate of Rijkswaterstaat, established in 1798 under French rule, was to centralise water control in the Netherlands. Local water boards refused to give up their autonomy however, so Rijkswaterstaat ended up working alongside the local water boards. Today Rijkswaterstaat has responsibility for major water control structures and other infrastructure like motorways. By 1850 there were about 3,500 water boards in the country. In modern times water boards merged. Mergers reduced the number to 25 water boards in 2011; the tasks of water boards remain unchanged. Having a rich history dating back to the Middle Ages, they are the oldest governing bodies and the oldest democratic institutions in the Netherlands. Dutch water boards have their own coat of arms, a colourful reminder of their importance in D
Municipal council (Netherlands)
In the Netherlands the municipal council is the elected assembly of the municipality. Its main role is laying down the guidelines for the policy of the council of mayor and aldermen and exercising control over its execution by the council of mayor and aldermen; the municipal councils range in size from nine to 45 seats, depending on the municipality's population, are elected by the population every four years. In many municipalities all major political parties contest in the election in addition to local parties. In most major, urban municipalities, all major parties are represented in the city council, while in smaller and more rural municipalities, only the largest parties and a local party have seats in the city council. All citizens and foreigners who live in the Netherlands for at least four years in a municipality have the right to vote and all citizens can be elected. Ministers and state secretaries in the national government are barred from standing in elections as well as mayors and civil servants employed by the municipality.
After the elections the parties in the states elect the aldermen. The municipal council is supported by its own civil service headed by the council's greffier. Members of the council are not paid as full-time politicians; as in most legislatures, the members of municipal council work in both political groups and policy area related committees. The mayor chairs the meetings of the council; some municipalities allow parties to have dual councillors, politicians who are not elected into the city council but are allowed to speak in committees
A Gemeenlandshuis, or Waterschapshuis is a building, the headquarters of one of the Waterboards of the Netherlands. Early flood control in the Netherlands is called the Teerschouw, which loosely translated means "consumption during observation"; this technique was a periodic check of the local dike system by his men. If they found a problem, they would go to the nearest house or inn, stay there for free until the problem was fixed; this was a direct and simple form of water management. These measures were necessary, since the local people took water management seriously; the Dike-reeve and his men met to discuss major issues and water improvements, though they met at each other's homes until the 16th century, as the country grew and the water management issues became more complex, halls were purchased to meet each other regularly. The Water Boards became governing bodies much like a town hall became a meeting place for the city council. In most Dutch cities those on a river or located at a seaside port, the Gemeenlandshuis was the same size as the Town Hall.
Examples can be seen today in Leiden, home to the Gemeenlandshuis van Rijnland, Delft, home to the Hoogheemraadschap van Delfland. The Gemeenlandshuis in Delft houses the main office of the Delfland Water Board; the Late-Gothic building, situated on the Oude Delft 167, was built in 1505. The first owner was bailiff of Delft and steward of Delfland. Occupants were Philips, Count of Hohenlohe, married to Maria of Nassau, a daughter of Willem of Orange; the Delfland Water Board has been established here since 1645. The building contains a large collection of old maps of Delfland. A large number of Coats of Arms cover the sandstone façade; the façade was spared during the fire of 1536 which burned through the city of Delft. The main entrance to the Delfland Water Board is now situated on the Phoenixstraat where more buildings been added on; the Water Boards governed territories. Because of the complications this extra dimension gave to local governance, city planning was done as much as possible in accordance with water management plans.
To save time, the meetings were done as much as possible near to the areas in question. This meant that his men needed to travel a lot. Since the Water Boards received their own income from taxes, they had enough money to spend on meeting halls, they built meeting halls for convenience in out-of-the-way places. For this reason many meeting halls were unusually large that were located in small towns, such as the Gemeenlandshuis Zwanenburg in Halfweg, or the Waterschapshuis in Onderdendam; these were locations that were strategically suited for meetings when the waterworks were being inspected. Waterschappen in Nederland: werken met water, een onberekenbare vriend, Koos Groen, Toon Schmeink, Bosch & Keuning, 1981, ISBN 90-246-4386-4
The Netherlands is a country located in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian. The six largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Tilburg. Amsterdam is the country's capital, while The Hague holds the seat of the States General and Supreme Court; the Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, the largest in any country outside Asia. The country is a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD and WTO, as well as a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union.
It hosts several intergovernmental organisations and international courts, many of which are centered in The Hague, dubbed'the world's legal capital'. Netherlands means'lower countries' in reference to its low elevation and flat topography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding 1 metre above sea level, nearly 17% falling below sea level. Most of the areas below sea level, known as polders, are the result of land reclamation that began in the 16th century. With a population of 17.30 million people, all living within a total area of 41,500 square kilometres —of which the land area is 33,700 square kilometres —the Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. It is the world's second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products, owing to its fertile soil, mild climate, intensive agriculture; the Netherlands was the third country in the world to have representative government, it has been a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a unitary structure since 1848.
The country has a tradition of pillarisation and a long record of social tolerance, having legalised abortion and human euthanasia, along with maintaining a progressive drug policy. The Netherlands abolished the death penalty in 1870, allowed women's suffrage in 1917, became the world's first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001, its mixed-market advanced economy had the thirteenth-highest per capita income globally. The Netherlands ranks among the highest in international indexes of press freedom, economic freedom, human development, quality of life, as well as happiness; the Netherlands' turbulent history and shifts of power resulted in exceptionally many and varying names in different languages. There is diversity within languages; this holds for English, where Dutch is the adjective form and the misnomer Holland a synonym for the country "Netherlands". Dutch comes from Theodiscus and in the past centuries, the hub of Dutch culture is found in its most populous region, home to the capital city of Amsterdam.
Referring to the Netherlands as Holland in the English language is similar to calling the United Kingdom "Britain" by people outside the UK. The term is so pervasive among potential investors and tourists, that the Dutch government's international websites for tourism and trade are "holland.com" and "hollandtradeandinvest.com". The region of Holland consists of North and South Holland, two of the nation's twelve provinces a single province, earlier still, the County of Holland, a remnant of the dissolved Frisian Kingdom. Following the decline of the Duchy of Brabant and the County of Flanders, Holland became the most economically and politically important county in the Low Countries region; the emphasis on Holland during the formation of the Dutch Republic, the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo-Dutch Wars in the 16th, 17th and 18th century, made Holland serve as a pars pro toto for the entire country, now considered either incorrect, informal, or, depending on context, opprobrious. Nonetheless, Holland is used in reference to the Netherlands national football team.
The region called the Low Countries and the Country of the Netherlands. Place names with Neder, Nieder and Nedre and Bas or Inferior are in use in places all over Europe, they are sometimes used in a deictic relation to a higher ground that consecutively is indicated as Upper, Oben, Superior or Haut. In the case of the Low Countries / Netherlands the geographical location of the lower region has been more or less downstream and near the sea; the geographical location of the upper region, changed tremendously over time, depending on the location of the economic and military power governing the Low Countries area. The Romans made a distinction between the Roman provinces of downstream Germania Inferior and upstream Germania Superior; the designation'Low' to refer to the region returns again in the 10th century Duchy of Lower Lorraine, that covered much of the Low Countries. But this time the corresponding Upper region is Upper Lorraine, in nowadays Northern France; the Dukes of Burgundy, who ruled the Low Countries in the 15th century, used the term les pays de par deçà for the Low Countries as opposed to les pays de par delà for their original
Boroughs of Amsterdam
The boroughs of Amsterdam are the eight principal subdivisions of the municipality of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Each borough is governed by a directly elected district committee; the first Amsterdam boroughs were created in 1981, with other boroughs created in years. The last area to be granted the status of borough was Amsterdam-Centrum; the existing system of eight boroughs, covering all parts of Amsterdam, is the result of a major borough reform in 2010. The current boroughs have populations of around 80,000 to 140,000, equivalent to an average-sized municipality in the Netherlands; until 2014, the Amsterdam boroughs had the status of submunicipalities, a form of government which existed only in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The borough of Westpoort, was governed by the central municipal authorities and therefore not a submunicipality; the submunicipalities were recognized under the Dutch Municipalities Act and enjoyed far-going autonomy, with the central municipal authorities abiding to the "submunicipalities decide, unless" principle.
The submunicipalities were governed by a directly elected district council as well as a separate district executive board, the members of which were appointed and controlled by the council. The central municipal authorities retained some power in the areas of public order, public transport and social security. In 2013, the States General of the Netherlands adopted a revision of the Municipalities Act abolishing submunicipalities as a form of government. Since the 2014 municipal elections, the Amsterdam district councils have ceased to exist. Under a municipal ordinance, they were replaced by smaller, but still directly elected district committees. All Dutch nationals, all EU nationals, as well as non-EU nationals who have lived in the Netherlands for at least three consecutive years, are eligible to vote for the district committee of the Amsterdam borough in which they live according to the city's civil register; each district committee elects three of its members to form an executive committee.
The district committees' jurisdiction is determined by the central municipal council. Responsibilities delegated to the 2018-2022 district committees include parks and recreation and squares, refuse collection and events, preparation of zoning plans and drivers licenses, welfare work; as the new district committees depend on powers being delegated by the central municipal council, their position is far less autonomous than their predecessors. Instead, the district committees are considered to be the local'eyes and ears' of the central municipal authorities, carrying out their delegated powers within the frameworks determined by the municipal council and the college van burgemeester en wethouders. Since 2010, there are eight boroughs