The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. This means that the government includes not only the ministers and the state secretaries, but also the monarch (currently King Willem-Alexander). The monarch is also the head of state.
The government (ministers and state secretaries) prepares and implements legislation, oversees local government, carries out the day-to-day business of government and maintains international relations.
Parliament is made up of two houses. The Senate has 75 indirectly elected members, who only have the power of veto in the legislative process. The House of Representatives has 150 members elected directly by the people.
The Dutch government and its ministries communicate with the non-Dutch speaking international and domestic public through a single English-language website: http://www.government.nl. Only the Ministry of Defence maintains its own English website on the armed forces: www.defensie.nl/english
The Constitution is the most important state document of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It contains fundamental rules concerning the constitutional State and the rights of its citizens. You can download it here.
Caribbean Parts of the Kingdom
On 10 October 2010, Curaçao and St Maarten became independent countries. Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba became special municipalities of the Netherlands. Find out more.