The two main tasks of Parliament are:

  • to act as co-legislator (article 82 of the Constitution);
  • to exercise control over government's policies.

In order to fulfil these tasks, (Members of) Parliament has the following powers at its disposal:

  • the right to ask questions (article 62 of the Constitution);
  • the right of interpellation (article 63 of the Constitution);
  • the right of inquiry (article 64 of the Constitution);
  • the right of initiative (article 85 of the Constitution);
  • the right of amendment (article 86 of the Constitution);
  • the right to approve and amend the budget (article 100 of the Constitution).

In order to fulfill the tasks as aforementioned, the work of Members of Parliament consists predominantly of attending Parliament meetings and voting on legislation, amendments, motions and other important matters. Making such important decisions requires preparation such as reading the entire dossier, work visits and speaking with the public. If Parliament deems it necessary it can hold hearings with third parties to receive the information it needs.

Where legislation is concerned the Parliament plays a crucial role as co-legislator. According to article 82 of the Constitution, national ordinances shall be enacted jointly by the government and Parliament. National ordinances contain general binding regulations which in certain cases have far reaching consequences for the citizens of the country like for example the raising of taxes and criminalizing certain behavior. These type of decisions cannot be taken lightly and require a lot of preparation before these decisions are laid down in a national ordinance.

The procedure to establish a national ordinance can be found in Chapter 6 of the Constitution and is briefly described below:

 

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