The overall administrative structure of the Netherlands is comprised of three layers: the central Government (the state), the provinces and the municipalities. The province is responsible for legislation, for which the state is too big for, and the municipalities too small.
In short, the provinces are the link between the state and the municipalities.
What is the main task of the province?
The province’s main responsibility is to make sure that everything runs smoothly in the province of Groningen. The province makes and implements policies on a variety of matters: from health care to the economy, from culture to county planning. The province works together with other organisations such as the municipalities, bureaus and businesses. The three main tasks of the province are:
- to grant authorisations
- to provide funding means
- to make policy
Where does the money go to?
In order to function properly, the province needs money. The funds which allow the county to implement their plans and activities come from State Government revenues, merits from investments and participations in Europe. We reinvest these funds into projects that will benefit the general public. For example, roads, public transport facilities and a redistribution of funds.
Some of these investments are planned long before certain projects actually start. We are authorised to allocate the remaining funds ourselves. In order to do so, we can make recommendations to the Provincial Council and they will ultimately decide on the actual division of the funds. To ensure that the public interests are best served, the Provincial Council has to carefully consider their options and compromise whenever necessary.