Wednesday, March 29, 2023

March 2014 in The Hague

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By Alexander W. Beelaerts van Blokland, Judge in the Court of Appeal and Special Advisor International Affairs of the Municipality of The Hague.

In the second half of March 2014 the foreign diplomats and other guests of  The Hague will see different things than in other years in March, about which I will inform you briefly.

First there will be local elections on Wednesday March 19th all over the country. The people in our city will elect 45 members of the ‘gemeenteraad’ (city-council) for four years. The day after the elections the winning party will start talks about forming a team of ‘wethouders’ (aldermen) and about a program, both for the next four years (2014-2018). In this country the mayor is appointed and not elected, so we know already that mayor Van Aartsen (66) will stay at his post.

As everyone knows, Monday March 24 and Tuesday March 25 the Nuclear Security Summit will take place. I wrote about it last month. The Hague will be again world news as Legal Capital of the World as mr Ban Ki-moon declared this city again last August during the celebrations of hundred years PeacePalace. For a lot of you this will be a period of hard work, for others two days of a lot of trouble to get somewhere because of security reasons.

At the end of that week, the Dutch will celebrate in a modest way 200 years of their first Constitution as a united nation after the Dutch anti-Orangemen/French period (1795-1813). On Saturday March 29 there will be a ‘200 years Constitution Festival’ in The Hague. Some places that normally are closed for the public will be open that day -also for you if you wish- such as the Trêveszaal where the Cabinet gathers every Friday, the Catshuis which is the formal Prime Minister’s house and the Hoge Raad (Supreme Court) where King Willem I lived in the first years of our Kingdom.


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