Local government: City Council and College

Leiden is controlled by the City Council and the College of Mayor and Aldermen. The city council is the highest body of Leiden and is responsible for all important decisions; the policy of the municipality of Leiden. The college of Mayor and Aldermen is responsible for the execution of policies and the daily administration of the municipality.

City Council

The city council is the highest body of the municipality of Leiden. The principle tasks of the city council are drawing up the policy outline and supervising the execution of policies in general. The city council determines the annual budget for Leiden as well as other important aspects. Leiden has 39 city councillors from 9 political parties. The current composition of the city council is as follows:

  • D66 (Dutch Democrats 1966) – 12 seats
  • PvdA (Dutch Labour Party)- 5 seats
  • VVD (Dutch People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy)- 5 seats
  • SP (Dutch Socialist Party) - 5 seats
  • CDA (Christian Democratic Appeal) – 4 seats
  • GroenLinks (Green Party)– 4 seats
  • Leefbaar Leiden (Liveable Leiden) - 2 seats
  • ChristenUnie (Dutch Christian Union) - 1 seat
  • Partij voor de Dieren (Party for the Animals) - 1 seat

City council meetings are open to the public. Contact the secretariat of the City Council (griffie) about the date and time of the meetings.

Commissions

The work of the council consists of more than being present at the meetings of the city council. A large part of the preparatory work is carried out within council commissions. Leiden has five council commissions:

  • Spatial and regional planning
  • Economy, employment and finance
  • Environment and infrastructural planning
  • Education and community issues
  • Control of annual account

The citizens and interest groups address the council commissions in order to influence decisions at an early stage. Contact the the secretariat of the City Council (griffie) about the date and time of the meetings.

Elections of the City Council

City council elections are held throughout The Netherlands once every four years. The outcome of the elections determines the composition of the city council.  The next council elections will be held in March 2018. All residents that are at least 18 years of age can go to the polls on Election Day. City council elections are not limited to those residents that have Dutch nationality. Foreigners that have lived for at least five years in The Netherlands and have a residence permit have passive and active suffrage at municipal level. Foreigners from countries that are a member of the European Union have these rights from the moment they take up residency in a Dutch municipality.

The College of Mayor and Aldermen

The college of Mayor and Aldermen is responsible for the daily administration of the municipality. Read more about the college of Mayor and Aldermen.