Government of Amsterdam

Government of Amsterdam

The Government of Amsterdam is the government of the municipality and city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Most of the inhabitants live in the city of Amsterdam, but the municipality also covers a number of small villages, and other parts of the local government, such as the Waterschap or the bridge management, cover an even larger area.

The administrative district borders Diemen, Weesp, Abcoude, Ouder-Amstel and Amstelveen in the south, Haarlemmermeer and Haarlemmerliede en Spaarnwoude in the west, and Zaanstad, Oostzaan, Landsmeer and Waterland in the north.

Population centres

Amsterdam, Driemond, Durgerdam, Holysloot, 't Nopeind, Osdorp, Ransdorp, Sloten, Sloterdijk, Zunderdorp.

Local government

City council

As all Dutch municipalities, the municipality of Amsterdam is governed by a mayor, burgemeester, his aldermen, "wethouders", and the municipal council, gemeenteraad.

After the 2006 municipal elections a coalition was formed between PvdA and GroenLinks, with a majority of 27 out of 45. These elections saw a political landslide throughout the country, with a strong shift to the left, of which Amsterdam was a prime example. The much talked about all-left-wing coalition of PvdA, GroenLinks and SP that polls indicate would become possible after the national elections of 2006 and that was such a political success in Nijmegen had its largest majority in Amsterdam, apart from some small towns. PvdA even needed only 3 more seats to form a coalition and could thus take its pick, which forced potential coalition partners to give in on a lot of issues. In the case of GroenLinks, this was mostly the policy of preventive searching by the police, which they were opposed to but had to allow.

In total, 24 parties took part in the elections, including 11 new ones, but only 7 got seats. Amsterdam Anders/De groenen got assigned one seat at first, but lost it after redistibution, which in the Netherlands is done through a system that favours big parties. In 2002 they only just missed out on a second seat in a similar manner.


Unlike most other Dutch municipalities, Amsterdam is subdivided into 15 boroughs ("stadsdelen"), a system that was implemented in the 1980s. The boroughs are responsible for many activities that previously had been run by the central city. The idea was to bring the government closer to the people. Fourteen of these have their own council, chosen by a popular election. The fifteenth, Westerpoort, covers the harbour of Amsterdam, and has very few inhabitants. It is governed by the central municipal council. Local decisions are made at borough level and only affairs pertaining the whole city (like major infrastructural projects), are delegated to the central city council.

The boroughs are:
* Centrum - the city centre; in this borough are Dam Square, De Wallen, Homomonument, Nieuwe Kerk (Amsterdam), Westerkerk, Prinsengracht
* Amsterdam-Noord
* Oud-Zuid
* De Baarsjes
* Bos en Lommer
* Geuzenveld/Slotermeer
* Oost/Watergraafsmeer
* Osdorp
* Oud-West
* Slotervaart
* Westerpark
* Westpoort
* Zeeburg
* Zuideramstel
* Amsterdam Zuidoost


The mayor of Amsterdam is the head of the city council. The current mayor is Job Cohen (PvdA). The mayors since the World War II are:
* Feike de Boer (1945 - 1946)
* Arnold Jan d'Ailly (1946 - 1956)
* Gijs van Hall (1956 - 1967)
* Ivo Samkalden (1967 - 1977)
* Wim Polak (1977 - 1983)
* Ed van Thijn (1983 - 1994)
* Schelto Patijn (1994 - 2001)
* Job Cohen (2001 - now)

"See also:" List of mayors of Amsterdam

International cooperation

Cities (and country) of international cooperation:cite web
title = Bureau Internationale Betrekkingen
work = []
publisher = Bureau Internationale Betrekkingen, City of Amsterdam
url =
accessdate = 2007-04-05
* Accra, Ghana
* Beira, Mozambique
* Budapest, Hungary
* İzmit, Turkey
* Managua, Nicaragua
* Riga, Latvia
* SurinameSister ports:
* Accra, Ghana
* Beijing, China
* Cape Town, South Africa
* Halifax, Canada
* San Pédro, Côte d'Ivoire
* Xiamen, China


* [] Publication by the SDU staatscourant
* [] (pdf) - Statistics Netherlands publication on Amsterdam

North Holland Province`

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