About the HNP
In 2000 the twelve Dutch provinces and the Association of Dutch Provinces (IPO) established the House of the Dutch Provinces in Brussels. Strong positioning and an effective representation in Brussels require a proactive approach andcolse cooperation between the provinces. The House of the Dutch Provinces is the joint front office of the provinces and the IPO in Brussels. Its main role consists of representing the joint interests of the provinces by liaising, informing and identifying.
The provinces form the link between the municipalities and the national government. The provincial administration is composed of the Provincial Council, the Provincial Executive and the King’s Commissioner (appointed by the Crown). The members of the Provincial Council are elected once every four years by the provinces’ inhabitants. The Provincial Executive is elected by the Provincial Council and is responsible for defining and implementing provincial policy.
Provinces have to comply with legislation originating from Brussels. In addition, they are responsible for the implementation and enforcement of many European rules and policies, such as meeting European environmental standards in for example the Air Quality Directive.
Furthermore, the provinces have to abide by the European rules for state aid and public procurement. It is therefore crucial to take European policy and legislation into account throughout the process of provincial policy making. The House of the Dutch Provinces makes a joint effort to provide input in Brussels at the earliest possible stage.
The regional offices
The provinces have organised themselves into four regional offices: North Netherlands Alliance (SNN), East Netherlands Provinces, Randstad Region and South Netherlands Provinces. For several dossiers thematic working groups have been created in which each regional office is represented. The House of the Dutch Provinces is governed by a board of thirteen provincial deputies: one deputy from each province along with the chair of the House on behalf of the IPO.
Objectives of the House of the Dutch Provinces
Through cooperative actions in Brussels the provinces strive to achieve synergy in the following areas: interest representation, information management, monitoring and advisement. The House of the Dutch Provinces defined the following objectives:
- Improving the Dutch provinces’ contacts with European institutions, the Dutch Permanent Representation to the EU, and other regional offices in Brussels;
- Creating synergy between the regional offices in order to come to an efficient representation of the joint regional interests;
- Providing adequate and timely information on European policy-making and the activities of the House of the Dutch Provinces;
- Contributing to a broader knowledge and a greater awareness of the European integration process in the Dutch provinces;
- Offering the facilities for the appropriate reception of visitors.
Board of the House of the Dutch Provinces
- Wim van de Donk, HNP-voorzitter namens het IPO
- Ger Koopmans, Province Limburg
- Klaas Fokkinga, Province Fryslân
- Eddy van Hijum, Province Overijssel
- Jack van der Hoek, Province Noord-Holland
- Martijn van Gruijthuijsen, Province Noord-Brabant
- Robert Strijk, Province Utrecht
- Anita Pijpelink, Province Zeeland
- Michiel Rijsberman, Province Flevoland
- Jeannette Baljeu, Province Zuid-Holland
- John Berends, Province Gelderland
- Henk Staghouwer, Province Groningen
- Tjisse Stelpstra, Province Drenthe