Civil Honours Council

The Civil Honours Council advises the Dutch government on nominations for royal decorations.

The Council assesses nominations in the light of the Rules of Procedure of the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands and the Order of Orange-Nassau. It then makes a recommendation to the minister responsible. The Council also advises on nominations for the Medal for Acts of Humanity.

Civil Honours Council

The current members of the Civil Honours Council are:

  • Professor Jaap de Hoop Scheffer (chair)
  • Clementine de Vries Lentsch-Kostense (vice-chair)
  • Major General (retd) Henk Morsink (Chancellor of the Netherlands Orders)
  • Joan Leemhuis-Stout
  • Peter van der Velden
  • Martine van Grieken (secretary)

The recommendations of the Civil Honours Council are drawn up at civil service level. Every nomination for a royal decoration is discussed at a meeting of the Council, which considers whether the person concerned merits decoration and, if so, what order and class would be appropriate. The Council also advises on the occasion at which the decoration will be presented. The Council ensures that nominations are assessed on a nationwide basis, to eliminate any possible regional differences.

The Council’s recommendations carry a lot of weight. Ministers who disagree with such a recommendation have to put forward specific arguments in support of their point of view. If a minister and the Council cannot reach agreement, the Cabinet will decide on the nomination. The Cabinet’s decision is binding.

In addition, the Council advises on nominations for the award of the Medal for Acts of Humanity (gold, silver or bronze) for humane acts conspicuous for courage, leadership and self-sacrifice.

The Council determines how the Rules of Procedure should be applied and takes account of developments in society at large.