House of the Dutch Provinces
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 and 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 for the provinces, informing the provinces on new European legislation and identifying developments at the European level.
The provinces form the middle government between the national government and the municipalities. The members of the Provincial Council (PS) are directly elected every four years by the inhabitants of their provinces. The day-to-day management of the province, the Executive Board (GS), is elected by PS. The chairman of PS and GS is the King’s Commissioner, appointed by the Crown for six years.
Provinces must comply with the laws and regulations that originated in Brussels and are responsible for the implementation and enforcement of many European rules and policies. For example, provinces have to deal with European environmental standards, for example in the air quality directive and the water framework directive. In addition, provinces must comply with European rules for tendering and state aid. It is important to take European legislation and regulations and policy frameworks into account when developing provincial policy. The House of the Dutch Provinces is committed to providing input in Brussels as early as possible.
Within the House, working groups have been formed for the various priorities in which the provinces are represented.
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
The House of the Dutch Provinces has a board consisting of twelve regional ministers, one per province and a King’s Commissioner as President.
- Arthur van Dijk, IPO (HNP-President)
- Ans Mol – van de Camp, Province of Gelderland (HNP-Vice President)
- Wilfried Nielen, Province of Zeeland (HNP-Treasurer)
- Elianne Demollin-Schneiders, Province of Limburg
- Friso Douwstra, Province of Fryslân
- Erwin Hoogland, Province of Overijssel
- Esther Rommel, Province of Noord-Holland
- Martijn van Gruijthuijsen, Province of Noord-Brabant
- Mirjam Sterk, Province of Utrecht
- Jan Klopman, Province of Flevoland
- Mariëtte van Leeuwen, Province of Zuid-Holland
- Bram Schmaal, Province of Groningen
- Egbert van Dijk, Province of Drenthe
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