State Secretary (Netherlands)


State Secretary (Netherlands)

State Secretary ("Staatssecretaris" in Dutch, plural: staatssecretarissen; alternative translation: Secretary of State) is a junior member of the Dutch or Belgian cabinet. Other terms for them are "deputy minister", "junior minister" or "vice-minister". They are members of cabinet, who work under a minister. They fall under the responsibility of the minister, but are separately responsible to parliament. They take over part of the minister's portfolio. Some staatssecretarissen have clearly defined portfolios like culture, science or the environment, while others' portfolios overlap with their minister's. Staatssecretarissen almost always have a different political affiliation than their minister. Staatssecretarissen do not attend the weekly ministerraad unless asked to do so.

Some staatssecretarissen have impressive political careers after their staatssecretariaat while others disappear into oblivion. An example of a successful staatssecretaris is current European Commissioner of Competition Neelie Kroes. She was staatssecretaris of Transport, Public Works and Water Management between 1977 and 1981, minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management between 1982 and 1989 and serves since 2004 as the Dutch European Commissioner [ [http://www.parlement.com/9291000/biof/01716 Biography of Neelie Kroes on parlement.com] ] .

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