Small chance of binding referendums in municipalities and provinces

There is a small chance that municipalities and provinces will be allowed to introduce binding referendums, which allow citizens to reverse a decision. Soon, the House of Representatives will vote on an initiative law of the SP on the corrective referendum and it is expected that the law will not make it. But an emergency grab might change something: the bill may be split into two parts.

The discussion has so far focused on reversing national laws, but the SPs proposal also includes a passage about provinces and municipalities. According to the initiative law, they can decide for themselves whether they want to make a referendum possible.

Probably not a two-thirds majority now

Because it is an amendment to the Constitution, the law must be passed twice by both Chambers, the second time by a two-thirds majority. In the coming weeks, the vote in the House of Representatives will be in second reading. Because at least VVD, CDA and SGP are against, there seems to be no two-thirds majority.

But in todays debate, D66 proposed splitting the proposal into a national part and a part for the local authorities. Member of Parliament Sneller thinks that there is more sympathy in the House for a referendum on decisions of municipalities and provinces than about national laws.

Bruins Slot: split legally possible

According to the proposer of the initiative act, SP MP Leijten, it would be very nice if part of the law could still be adopted in this way. And Minister Bruins Slot of the Interior made it clear that such a split does not happen often, but is legally possible.

CDA MP Van Dijk said in the debate that she is personally not so negative about the possibility of a referendum for local authorities, but that this is a new element in the discussion, on which she does not yet have a strong opinion. Van Dijk wants to seriously bring the plan to the fraction, but that does not have to mean that the CDAs position changes, she emphasized.

The vote on the referendum is possible next week, but it may also be later. Should the bill be split and come to the vote again, both separate proposals will again require a two-thirds majority.