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 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.
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: