Queen's Commissioner

Queen's Commissioner

The Queen’s Commissioner (Dutch: Commissaris van de Koning(in), abbr. to CvdK) is the head of a province in the Netherlands, who is chairman of both the Provinciale Staten (PS: the directly elected provincial parliament) and the Gedeputeerde Staten (GS: the executive branch), but has a right to vote only in the latter. When the reigning monarch is a male, the office is King’s Commissioner (Commissaris van de Koning).

In the Dutch province of Limburg, the Queen’s Commissioner is usually called Gouverneur (“governor”), as in Belgium. Similarly, the Provinciehuis (“Province Hall”) at Maastricht is called Gouvernement (“Governor’s Residence”). This local custom arose from the particular status of the current province in the nineteenth century.

There are two levels of local government in the Netherlands: the provinces and the municipalities. The twelve provinces form the tier of administration between central government and the municipalities. The three tiers are organised in largely the same way, with a directly elected parliament, which in turn chooses the executive branch, headed by a non-democratically chosen chairman. On the national and municipal level, these are the king and the mayor, on the provincial level it is the King’s Commissioner (however the king has no political power, the “political head of state” is the Prime Minister (Minister President), similar to the United Kingdom).

Each province is governed by the Provinciale Staten (“PS”), who, in turn, choose the Gedeputeerde Staten (“GS”). The members of the PS are elected directly every four years. Its main tasks are to decide policies and to oversee their implementation by the GS. Each member of the council has a vote and decisions are taken by majority vote of the members present. Council members usually have an ordinary job and undertake their council duties in their spare time. They receive an attendance allowance. Membership in the GS is a full-time job.

Read more about Queen's Commissioner:  Tasks of The Queen’s Commissioner, Queen’s Commissioners

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