Netherlands

III - Changes to Constitutional Law

Nature national instruments      
III.1
What is the character of the legal instruments adopted at national level to implement Euro-crisis law (constitutional amendment, organic laws, ordinary legislation, etc)?

The instruments that have been adopted have either been aligned with the existing legal frameworks or on the basis of ordinary legislation.

Constitutional amendment   
III.2    
Have there been any constitutional amendments in response to the Euro-crisis or related to Euro-crisis law? Or have any amendments been proposed?

No.

Constitutional context
III.3
If national constitutional law already contained relevant elements, such as a balanced budget rule or independent budgetary councils, before the crisis that are now part of Euro-crisis law, what is the background of these rules?

The budget rights of parliament are vested in constitutional law. This has been described in the answer to question II.1.

Purpose constitutional amendment 
III.4
What is the purpose of the constitutional amendment and what is its position in the constitution?

Not applicable.

Relationship with EU law        
III.5
Is the constitutional amendment seen as changing the relationship between national and European constitutional law?

Not applicable.

Organic law      
III.6
Have there been changes to organic laws or other types of legislation that are of a different nature or level than ordinary legislation, in relation to Euro-crisis law or the budgetary process?

Not applicable.

Constitutional amendment and ordinary law       
III.7
If ordinary legislation was adopted in conjunction with a constitutional amendment, what is the relationship between the two?

Not applicable.

Perception source of legal change   
III.8
In the public and political discussions on the adoption of ordinary legislation, what was the perception on the appropriate legal framework? Was the ordinary legislation seen as implementing national constitutional law, or Euro-crisis law?

The Wet HOF is the only real new law that has been introduced to implement EU crisis measures.  The perception of this law within The Netherlands is not dominantly perceived as a measure that implements Euro-crisis law. The political debates do mention this dimension but somehow this is absent in the public debates. The public debates mainly frame it as a battle between central government and local governments.[1]

Miscellaneous
III.9
What other information is relevant with regard to The Netherlands and to changes to national (constitutional) law?

The Parliamentary motion Brinkhorst that was adopted in 1980 stipulated that the interpretation of the Dutch Constitution should always be made in a way that the EU integration process is not frustrated.[2] This motion has recently been repealed by Parliamentary motion Van der Staaij that stipulates that interpretation of the Dutch Constitution should exclusively be made on the basis of the intentions of the Dutch legislator.[3] The government response to this repeal is that neither the motion Brinkhorst nor the recent repeal of that motion change any of the EU relevant legal obligations for The Netherlands that came into existence autonomously as a direct consequence of the accession to the European Union.[4]

[1] For example, http://www.binnenlandsbestuur.nl/financien/nieuws/dijsselbloem-noemt-kritiek-op-wet-hof-achterhaald.9014113.lynkx

[2] 02 Treaty 136 – Parliamentary motion Brinkhorst 1980

[3] 02 TFEU 136 – Parliamentary repeal motion Brinkhorst

[4] 02 Treaty 136 – Government response to Parliamentary repeal of motion Brinkhorst