Dutch nationals who live abroad will be able to have an impact on the composition of the upper house of parliament from next year, now that the senate has voted in favour of the plan.
Dutch nationals abroad are already able to vote in the European and national elections but have been excluded from influencing the senate so far.
The number of seats won by parties on the 12 provincial councils currently determines the make up of the senate, but from next March a new body, a voting council for Dutch nationals abroad, will also be included in the calculations.
This means Dutch nationals who are working or living abroad will still have a say over the senate, even though they have no provincial council vote.
Eelco Keij, chairman of the lobby group Stichting Nederlanders Buiten Nederland has campaigned for years for change and says an injustice has now been righted.
‘This means that we, however indirectly, can vote for the parliamentarians who influence our lives, from abroad as well,’ Keij said.
The next provincial elections take place in March and the new senate will be determined in May.
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