• What does the municipality do?

  • What does the municipality do?

    Municipalities play an important role in the Netherlands. A municipality, town hall or city council is known in Dutch as a gemeente, and you will hear this word often in all kinds of administration, from registering at your home address and paying taxes, to registering a marriage.


    The gemeente is the third tier of governmental administration in the Netherlands, after the Dutch government and the Dutch provinces. As of January 1, 2022, there are 345 gemeenten or municipalities in the Netherlands.


    Structure of the Dutch gemeente

    Dutch municipalities are governed by the municipal council (gemeenteraad) and the mayor and aldermen (College van burgemeester en wethouders). Each municipality’s mayor is appointed by Royal Decree on the recommendation of the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. The aldermen are appointed by the municipal council, which is elected by the municipality.


    Responsibilities of the gemeente

    Dutch municipalities are in charge of many tasks and responsibilities. These include:

    • Urban planning such as housing.
    • Traffic and transport including roads and paths for cycling.
    • Education such as the management of local public schools.
    • Welfare and social affairs.
    • Council rates such as property or tourist tax.
    • Accepting applications for Dutch passports and driving licences.