the Netherlands

Article

August 13, 2022

The Netherlands (Dutch: the Netherlands, pronounced ˈneːdərˌlɑnt (listen)), officially the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Dutch: Koninkrijk der Nederlanden) - a country located in Western Europe and the southern part of North America (Caribbean), being a constitutional monarchy, composed of four constituent countries: the Netherlands (European part), Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, and three overseas municipalities: Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius. It is a member of the European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The European part of the Netherlands is densely populated, and about a quarter of that territory lies below sea level in the depression area. The Netherlands is home to the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court and the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia.

Etymology of the state name

The name Holland (in Dutch: Holland) comes from the early Middle Ages; it first appeared in sources in the 9th century. It is of Germanic origin, probably derived from two Old Dutch words holt ("woody") and lant ("country"), initially describing the lands around Haarlem. In the 11th century, it appears in the oldest Dutch chronicles of Annales Egmundenses, where it defines the principality of the Netherlands.

The issue of nomenclature in Polish

The short name recommended by the Commission for the Standardization of Geographical Names outside the Republic of Poland is "Netherlands", and in the official version is "Kingdom of the Netherlands". The name "Netherlands" in contemporary Polish is usually used for a historical land - it refers to countries formerly ruled by the Habsburgs (Habsburg Netherlands, Spanish Netherlands, Austrian Netherlands). After the establishment of the independent Dutch state, the Polish language initially used different names from the Nederland form, from the Holland form and descriptive forms (eg Confederated States). After the creation of the modern Dutch state in 1830, the name Netherlands was used almost exclusively in Polish (in various spelling variants), and the name Netherlands was practically out of use in this sense. The exception is the abbreviated name of the country "Netherlands", recommended for use in European Union documents. In October 2019, the Dutch authorities decided to relinquish the English term "Holland", previously used in marketing for this country, to the name "The Netherlands", and the change began at the beginning of 2020. This change is domestic in nature and concerns Dutch institutions, universities, offices and embassies, etc., does not entail an appeal to other countries to apply an analogous change in their languages. It did not change the recommended short name of this country in Polish.

Political system

The Kingdom of the Netherlands is made up of four countries. From March 16, 1815, it is a constitutional monarchy, i.e. the monarch stands at the head of the state (from 2013, King William-Alexander). The King of the Netherlands appoints the head of the government, usually drawn from the victorious party - he is the head of the executive. The king's tasks, apart from representing the state outside, include delivering an annual message in which he presents the main goals and intentions of the government for the coming year (however, he has no right to change them on his own). The prime minister manages the domestic and foreign policy of the state. The role of the legislature is played by a bicameral parliament - the States General (Staten-Generaal), with only the lower house (Tweede Kamer) having real significance. The Senate (Eerste Kamer) has a representative function and may possibly delay the entry into force of important lips