General information

General Information

Conference date

The XIth conference of the Association of European Senates will be held in The Hague, the Netherlands from 16 - 18 April 2009.

Conference venue

The conference will take place in the Plenary Hall of the Senate of the Netherlands, Binnenhof 22, 2513 AA in The Hague.

Conference Secretariat

(for programme)

Eerste Kamer der Staten Generaal

Communication and Protocol

Postbus 20017

2500 EA The Hague, The Netherlands

Telephone: +31 70 312 92 27

Fax: +31 70 312 93 90


Contact during office hours: Mrs. Lara Wittkowski

Conference Office

(for organisation and logistics)


P.O. Box 10274

NL-2501 HG The Hague, The Netherlands

Telephone: +31 70 384 11 99

Fax: +31 70 380 08 04


Contact during office hours: Mrs. Dorianne van Heeswijk

Conference hotel

Steigenberger Kurhaus Hotel

Gevers Deynootplein 30

2586 CK THE HAGUE/ The Netherlands

Telephone + 31 70 416 26 15



Invitation of the Eerste Kamer der Staten-Generaal

This invitation includes the following:

  • Transport to and from Amsterdam Schiphol airport,
  • Transport to and from the meetings,
  • Transport to and from the lunches, dinners and the excursions,
  • Lunches on Friday 17 April and Saturday 18 April,
  • Dinner on Thursday 16 April and Friday 17 April,
  • Excursion on Saturday 18 April,
  • Internet and Telephone in the conference secretariat/business centre.

Passport and Visa Requirements

The Netherlands is part of the European Union. Visitors entering the Netherlands need a valid passport. Check with the Dutch Embassy or Consulate in your own country whether you need a visa and to obtain the necessary forms. You will find the addresses of the Dutch embassies and consulates on the home page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ( Should you need a letter of invitation to obtain a visa, please contact the Protocolbureau.


Schiphol Airport is one of the world's busiest and most user-friendly airports, with direct flights to 205 international destinations. More information:

The delegations may use the VIP lounge at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam on the day of their arrival and departure. There they will be met by staff members and guided to the transport facilities.

Rotterdam airport is the regional airport located closely to The Hague, with direct flights to 19 European destinations. More information:

The delegations arriving at Rotterdam airport will be met by staff members in the arrival hall and guided to the transport facilities.

Business centre

The business centre will be close to the Plenary Hall. In the business centre is available:

  • 10 laptops (English version of Microsoft Office 2003)
  • Printers,
  • Access to Internet,
  • Copy and fax service,
  • View of the plenary room


Please inform the Protocolbureau as soon as possible on any special needs.


During the conference simultaneous interpretation will be available for English, and French. Interpretation booths for other languages are available upon request. Interpreters have to be brought by the respective delegation.

Personal weapons

Please note that the carrying of (personal) weapons is prohibited in the Netherlands without a special permit. If you should need such a permit please contact the conference secretariat for further information.


Beverages will be served in the foyer during the conference.

Registration and conference badges

Participants will be handed their registration material and conference badges upon arrival at the hotel.

Please wear your conference badge throughout the conference.

The badge colours are defined as follows:

Red - Heads of Delegation

Blue - Delegation

Orange - Staff

White - Conference organisation

Speaking in the meeting

The speakers will be called to speak in alphabetical order according to the name of their country in English. Each Speaker may take the floor for a maximum of 10 minutes.


Transfer from Amsterdam Schiphol airport/Rotterdam airport to The Hague will be arranged on the day of arrival and departure. Transport to and from the conference hotel to the conference venue, as well as transfer during the conference (meals, excursion programme) will also be arranged by the conference organiser.

General information

The Hague

The Hague means enjoying cultural events, concerts, art exhibits, a night out at the theatre, shopping in the city centre and a bracing walk at the seaside. The Hague is a wonderful city full of life, all year round!


Most foreign currencies (cash or traveller cheques) can be exchanged at most hotel cashier desks and at any available bank. Most automatic teller machines (ATM) accept the major credit cards.

Business hours differ between banks. Most banks are open from Monday to Friday from 09.00 to 16.00 hours. Banks are closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Credit Cards

Major Credit Cards (Visa, American Express, Eurocard/ Mastercard, Diners Club) are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and shops.


The local currency is the Euro (EUR/€).


Dutch plugs have two round prongs and the standard voltage is 220 volts. Hotels may have a 110-volt outlet for shavers, but it is recommended to bring a power converter and an appropriate plug adapter.


Most shops are open from Tuesday to Friday from 9.00 to 18.00 hours, Saturdays from 09.00 to 17.00 hours. Late night shopping (until 21.00 hours) is on Thursdays and many shops open on Sundays from 12.00 noon to 17.00 hours.

Smoking policy

As of 1 July 2008 the Netherlands has a non-smoking policy in all public areas including hotels, bars and restaurants.


The prevailing rate of VAT in the Netherlands is 19% and is included in retail prices. Value Added Tax and service charges are included in your hotel bill, in shops, restaurants and taxi fares.


Taxis may be picked up at ranks, or ordered by calling one of the taxi call centres. Taxis in The Hague are rarely hailed in the street. To order a taxi call 070-390 77 22

The Dutch senate chamber