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The Senate and the House of Representatives

Since 1815 the Senate (Eerste Kamer der Staten-Generaal) and the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal) have made up the parliament of the Netherlands. Both Houses play an important role in the implementation of new legislation. A bill can only become law if it is adopted by both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The members of the House of Representatives can propose and amend bills. Members of the Senate cannot do this; the Senate can either adopt or reject a bill. Both Houses scrutinize the work of the Government. This means that ministers and state secretaries are accountable to both Houses.

The House of Representatives is the directly elected representation of the people. Its 150 members are full-time politicians. The members of the Senate are elected by the provincial councils. Senators are part-time politicians. The Senate sits only once a week.