Social security in the House of Representatives leaves much to be desired, according to a report from Utrecht University. Managers and MPs are mainly responsible for inappropriate behavior towards other MPs. While most of the study participants generally feel safe, there is little room for error and discussion, leading to a closed culture under pressure.
The report identifies various forms of transgressive behavior, such as disparaging remarks, gossip, defamation, discrimination, sharing of confidential information, sabotage, bullying and name-calling. It has become apparent that the way in which such signals and reports are handled is often inadequate.
After previous cases of transgressive behavior among members of the House of Representatives, President Vera Bergkamp decided in 2022 to conduct a broad independent investigation into social safety among MPs, party employees and parliamentary officials. The research does not focus on specific persons or cases, but on the experiences of employees in the House of Representatives.
The House of Representatives has had difficulty tackling transgressive behavior for years, as evidenced by the cases involving PVV member Dion Graus, former President of the House of Representatives Khadija Arib (PvdA) and former PvdA Member of Parliament Gijs van Dijk. The issues surrounding Arib have in particular raised questions about complaints handling.