As Provinciale Staten is referred to the Parliament a Dutch province. Literally translated, the term provincial estates or estates of the province, in German it is rendered as a provincial parliament or provincial councils. In the Netherlands it is often called shortly Staten. The Provincial Council of the Province of Limburg in 2008 decided to deviating to call from all other provinces of Limburg Parlement.

Functions of the County States is the choice and control of a provincial government, the Gedeputeerde Staten. They take DECREES ( decisions), for example, about the provincial budget. Compared with some German and Austrian provinces or cantons of Switzerland, however, the provinces have very little powers.

Choice and number of members

By 1850, that is to Provinciewet by Johan Rudolf Thorbecke, nobles and knights machinations have chosen a third of statenleden (members of the Staten ). Since then, as well as the second chamber of the national parliament, the states will be elected by the voting citizens.

The Staten all provinces are elected every four years on the same day in the Provinciale Statenverkiezingen. Where, as in the Netherlands usual, the proportional representation. In 2007, it was awarded to 564 seats, of which the Christian Democrats 151, 114, the Social Democrats and the right-wing liberals have received 102. A total of 17 political groups are represented in the Provincial States. Only in the case of Friesland regionalists have ( the Frisian National Party ) reaches a certain size ( five out of 43 seats). The turnout was 40 to 50 percent, which is significantly lower than the national parliamentary elections ( by 80 percent).

Compared to the 2003 elections, the number of seats was reduced significantly. Since 2007, the three largest Staten each have 55 seats, that of North Holland, South Holland and North Brabant. The smallest number, 39 members, Zeeland.


Until 2003, the Staten were officially known as the bestuur a province, so when the board, the government, the governing body. Of these, one distinguishes a Dagelijks bestuur, the actual Executive commonly offer. This Dagelijks bestuur is the College of Staten Gedeputeerde. Since 2003, the Staten the organ of the people's representatives are also official. Until then, the members of the Staten Gedeputeerden were, since they may do so no more.

Select the Staten college and practice of control over whether the decisions of the states will be implemented. The Chairman of the College will, however, not elected by the Staten: The Commissioner of the Queen uses the Dutch Ministry of the Interior.

Furthermore, the Staten all provinces together choose the First Chamber of the States General, to say the less important chamber of the national parliament. The weight of the voice of a member of a provincial parliament depends on the size of the relevant province. There are not elected by province, but the candidates from national lists, you can not view the members of the First Chamber than actual representatives of provinces, and the first chamber does not have the task of representing the provinces.

Seat and Organization

The Provincial Council of the Province shall meet generally in the Provinciehuis, where the administration of the province has its headquarters. In Gelderland Provincie Huis means the building, in Limburg province.

Parliament, as such, has an administration under a secretary Statengriffier (or short: griffier ) is called. The fractions have one each or more fractieassistenten. This is a volunteer, but a sworn citizen who supports the group members with legwork; often it is someone who has been on the electoral list of the party concerned.