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Netherlands Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Kingdom of the Netherlands
    conventional short form: Netherlands
    local long form: Koninkrijk der Nederlanden
    local short form: Nederland

    Data code: NL

    Government type: constitutional monarchy

    Capital: Amsterdam; The Hague is the seat of government

    Administrative divisions: 12 provinces (provincien, singular—provincie); Drenthe, Flevoland, Friesland, Gelderland, Groningen, Limburg, Noord-Brabant, Noord-Holland, Overijssel, Utrecht, Zeeland, Zuid-Holland

    Dependent areas: Aruba, Netherlands Antilles

    Independence: 1579 (from Spain)

    National holiday: Queen's Day, 30 April

    Constitution: adopted 1814; amended many times, last time 17 February 1983

    Legal system: civil law system incorporating French penal theory; constitution does not permit judicial review of acts of the States General; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: Queen BEATRIX Wilhelmina Armgard (since 30 April 1980); Heir Apparent WILLEM-ALEXANDER (born 27 April 1967), Prince of Orange, son of the monarch
    head of government: Prime Minister Wim KOK (since 22 August 1994) and Vice Prime Ministers Annemarie JORRITSMA (since 3 August 1998) and Els BORST-EILERS (since 3 August 1998)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the monarch
    elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; following Second Chamber elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the monarch; vice prime ministers appointed by the monarch
    note: there is a Council of State composed of the monarch, heir apparent, and councillors consulted by the executive on legislative and administrative policy

    Legislative branch: bicameral States General or Staten Generaal consists of the First Chamber or Eerste Kamer (75 seats; members indirectly elected by the country's 12 provincial councils for four-year terms) and the Second Chamber or Tweede Kamer (150 seats; members directly elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
    elections: First Chamber—last held 9 June 1995 (next to be held 25 May 1999); Second Chamber—last held 6 May 1998 (next to be held May 2002)
    election results: First Chamber—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—VVD 23, CDA 19, PvdA 14, D'66 7, other 12; Second Chamber—percent of vote by party—PvdA 30.0%, VVD 25.3%, CDA 19.3%, D'66 9.3%, other 16.1%; seats by party—PvdA 45, VVD 38, CDA 29, D'66 14, other 24

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Hoge Raad, justices are nominated for life by the monarch

    Political parties and leaders: Christian Democratic Appeal or CDA [Jaap DE HOOP SCHEFFER]; Labor Party or PvdA [Wim KOK]; People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (Liberal) or VVD [Hans F. DIJKSTAL]; Democrats '66 or D'66 [Thom DE GRAAF]; a host of minor parties

    Political pressure groups and leaders: large multinational firms; Federation of Netherlands Trade Union Movement (comprising Socialist and Catholic trade unions) and a Protestant trade union; Federation of Catholic and Protestant Employers Associations; the nondenominational Federation of Netherlands Enterprises; and Interchurch Peace Council or IKV

    International organization participation: AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CCC, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECLAC, EIB, EMU, ESA, ESCAP, EU, FAO, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MTCR, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIBH, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Joris M. VOS
    chancery: 4200 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 244-5300
    FAX: [1] (202) 362-3430
    consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Cynthia P. SCHNEIDER
    embassy: Lange Voorhout 102, 2514 EJ, The Hague
    mailing address: PSC 71, Box 1000, APO AE 09715
    telephone: [31] (70) 310-9209
    FAX: [31] (70) 361-4688
    consulate(s) general: Amsterdam

    Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and blue; similar to the flag of Luxembourg, which uses a lighter blue and is longer

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)