Prinsjesdag – the State Opening of Parliament in the Netherlands

23 January 2022

The Dutch parliamentary year starts on the third Tuesday in September. On this day the government announces its plans for the coming year. We thought we’d take a moment to review their announcements and let you know the areas that the Rijksoverheid sees as priorities for the year to come. The key themes were accessibility, liveability and safety.

Accessibility of the Netherlands
Regular maintenance of our roads, bridges, and railways is vitally important, in order to keep trucks, passenger cars, ships, and trains moving.

  • In 2022 Rijkswaterstaat will be able to invest 2.1 billion euros in maintenance, replacement, and innovation. Up to 2025 inclusive, the ProRail railway authority will be investing 1.5 billion euros annually in railway management, maintenance, and replacement.

As the Netherlands will be building another 900,000 houses in the years up to 2030 inclusive, additional connections and infrastructure will be required in order to enable the new residents to continue to travel smoothly from one location to another.

  • By the end of 2021, the second and third ten-minute trains will be operating between Arnhem – Utrecht and Schiphol Airport, and between Schiphol Airport and Den Haag – Rotterdam.
  • The Kabinet is aiming for maximum sustainability with respect to infrastructure maintenance and construction, also with a view to the nitrogen issue. A case in point is the grant scheme for entrepreneurs intending to procure zero-exhaust construction machines.

Safety of the Netherlands
The Overstroming (flooding) that occured in the province of Limburg has demonstrated that the Netherlands needs better protection against the consequences of extreme weather. The IPCC climate report underscores the urgency of such measures.

  • The Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat (Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management) is fully committed to dyke improvement and river widening.
  • Further studies are exploring how the Netherlands can be prepared for severe precipitation. The recommendations from such studies will be followed up in 2022.

In addition to severe precipitation, extreme weather also involves prolonged drought.

  • Via the Delta Fund, the Ministry is investing an additional 100 million euros in measures aimed at climate-proofing our freshwater supply. This brings the total sum available for such measures to 250 million euros.

This year, the Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat will once more invest 50 million euros in the improvement of nationwide road safety, out of the 500-million-euro package that will become available in the ten years ahead.

  • Local and regional governments can use these funds in the purview of the construction or adaptation of safe infrastructure, e.g., for bicycles.

Liveability of the Netherlands
A liveable environment with greenery and clean air is essential for everyone. That is why the Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat is committed to boosting a zero-waste economy: the circular economy.

  • In 2022, 14 million euros will be available for this purpose, for example, to assist entrepreneurs in streamlining their reuse.

The Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat is also making headway in terms of cleaner mobility.

  • In the years ahead, the grant scheme for the purchase or lease of new or used electric passenger cars will be expanded. For the next three years, the Ministry has allocated an additional 90 million euros to this incentive scheme.
  • A focal point under the climate package is the use of quayside electricity, which obviates the need for moored ships to use polluting fuel oil for their power generation.
For more information about Prinsjesdag go to is the Rijksoverheid’s website in English for not-yet-Dutch speakers in the Netherlands and non-Dutch speakers outside of the Netherlands.

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