The Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal () Second Room of the State-Generals in French), or more briefly the Tweede Kamer , is the Lower House Parliament of the Netherlands, called General states of the Netherlands. She is elected for four years and has prerogatives more important than the senate, called Eerste Kamer.
Although its name could let think the opposite, the First Room has a less political power than the Deuxième. It is in the latter that are formed, and fallen, the coalitions of government. The ministers are also politically responsible in front of this one. The First Room also has this capacity, but uses about it more rarely. A minister or a government cannot be maintained without the support of one majority for the Second Room.
The Second Room has three principal functions:
- Control of the Government
- Colégislateur (with the Government and the First Room)
- Representation of the population
In order to control the Government, the Second Room has several capacities and instruments. For this reason, an important competence of the Room is the budgetary capacity: it is a question of being able to approve, disapprove and modifer the budgets. The Room also has of a right of interpellation and a right of enquête.
The interpellation is a debate during which a minister has to answer of a decision. Each member of the Room can ask for such a debate, and this one takes place if a majority of the members approves it (it is in general the case). For the questions of less importance, the ministers can be questioned during the weekly session of oral questions. It is also possible to transmit a written question, which the minister is obliged to answer.
For exceptional cases, the Room makes use of its right of investigation. A special subcommittee is named, charged with examining the policy of the government on a given question. The interested parties can be questioned under oath and put in detention. Investigations into the catastrophe of Bijlmer or the real fraud (2002).
The Second Room is made up of 150 representatives, elected officials at the time of elections taking place every 4 years. The last elections took place on November 22nd, 2006.
The Second Room can vote a motion, by which she Formula One an opinion, or asks a Minister or the whole of the Government to do something, or to abstain from some. Such a text is not however imperative.
Within the framework of its legislative power, the Room has a right of amendment: it can propose, and adopt in the majority, of the modifications to the private bills which are subjected to him. A minister in dissension can to it be opposed while threatening to resign or withdraw the whole of the law concerned.
The Second Room has a capacity of initiative: it can propose a law. The majority of the private bills are deposited by the Government, but it happens that one or more members of the Room deposits such a private bill of initiative ( initiatiefwetsvoorstel ).
CompositionComposition of the Second Room since November 22nd, 2006 (and evolution compared to the legislature 2003-2006):
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