Political office holders
The current honours system has one statutory mechanism, for elected representatives, ministers and state secretaries.
According to article 14 van het Rules of Procedure of the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands and the Order of Orange-Nassau, these individuals qualify for a royal decoration after a certain period. The main reason for honours being awarded automatically is to avoid any political conflict about who should be decorated, and when.
- Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the States General and of the States of Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten must have been re-elected at least twice and have held office for at least 10 years.
- Dutch Members of the European Parliament must have been re-elected at least once and have held office for at least 10 years.
- Members of the provincial councils, municipal councils and island councils must have held office for at least 12 years.
These elected representatives can be nominated for a royal decoration when they leave their elected position. The same advisory and decision-making procedure applies for them as for other members of the public, involving the mayor and the minister (in this case, the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations).
Ministers and state secretaries must have held office for at least a year. The Prime Minister submits a nomination for honours directly to His Majesty the King. The usual advisory and decision-making procedure does not apply in this case.