Parliamentary debate on digitization issues, 2009-2019


Project leadersDr. Harm Kaal (RU)Dr. Carla Hoetink (RU)

ResearchersPepijn Aarnink MA MScLaura de Jong MALauren Lauret MASavannah Mellendijk BA(All alumni of the RU master's programme Politiek en Parlement (Politics and Parliament))

AdvisersProf.dr. Wim van Meurs (RU)prof. dr. Carla van Baalen (Centrum voor Parlementaire Geschiedenis, RU)Frans de Vijlder (Kenniscentrum Publieke Zaak, Hogeschool van Arnhem enNijmegen)

Time frame

November 2019 – February 2020

Project description

Commissioned by the Temporary Committee on the Digital Future of the House of Representatives, we have conducted research into the parliamentary debate on digitization issues. We have examined what lessons can be drawn from the way in which the House of Representatives has fulfilled its monitoring, legislative and representative role in recent years.

In the first place, the study provides an overview of what the House of Representatives itself has understood by digitization issues over the past ten years. We also discuss the central policy areas in which the debates on digitization take place, and the members of the House of Representatives who were involved in these debates. In addition, we map out which initiatives the government has taken – such as a series of Digital Agendas – and which research reports have fed the parliamentary debate on digitization.

We then introduce the five case studies that we examined in more detail: the parliamentary debates on Open Data, cybersecurity, eHealth, ICT in education and SyRI (System Risk Indication). These case studies provide insight into successively: the information position of the House of Representatives, the way in which the House of Representatives has interpreted its controlling, legislative and representative role, and the link between digitization of political dilemmas, opportunities and risks.

Finally, we derive an assessment framework from the combined results of the digital and qualitative analysis. This assessment framework can help the House of Representatives to determine its own position at an earlier stage and contribute to a thorough reflection on digitization issues, with an eye for both the opportunities and the risks.


The results are presented in a research report (pdf, 565 kB). This report can also be found as an appendix in the final report of the committee.


House of Representatives


Harm Kaal,