Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Azure, billetty Or a lion with a coronet Or armed and langued Gules holding in his dexter paw a sword Argent hilted Or and in the sinister paw seven arrows Argent pointed and bound together Or. [The seven arrows stand for the seven provinces of the Union of Utrecht.] The shield is crowned with the (Dutch) royal crown and supported by two lions Or armed and langued gules. They stand on a scroll Azure with the text (Or) "Je Maintiendrai" (French for "I will maintain".)
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The Council of Ministers of the Kingdom (Dutch: Ministerraad van het Koninkrijk or Rijksministerraad) is the executive council of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which is a state consisting of four constituent countries: Aruba, Curaçao, the Netherlands, and Sint Maarten. The Council of Ministers of the Kingdom consists of the Council of Ministers of the Netherlands complemented by one Minister Plenipotentiary of Aruba, one Minister Plenipotentiary of Curaçao, and one Minister Plenipotentiary of Sint Maarten. The Prime Minister of the Netherlands chairs the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom. Together with the King, the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom forms the Government of the Kingdom, also known as the Crown.

A significant difference between the Netherlands Ministers and the Ministers Plenipotentiary is that the former Ministers are accountable for their politics and policies to the Dutch parliament. The Ministers Plenipotentiary, however, are accountable to their national governments. Therefore, the Ministers Plenipotentiary usually do not resign in the event of a Dutch cabinet crisis.[1]

Though the Kingdom of the Netherlands is statutorily distinguished from the Netherlands, and therefore the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom is a distinct body from the Council of Ministers of the Netherlands it is often perceived as being the same body, since the Netherlands is by far the most powerful of the four countries in federal affairs.

Laws applicable to the whole Kingdom are known as Kingdom Acts. An example of such a law is the "Kingdom Act regarding Dutch citizenship" (Dutch: Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap).


  1. "Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles: Political relations within the Kingdom of the Netherlands". Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties. Archived from the original on 2008-02-17. Retrieved 2007-10-28.
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