Central government is concentrated in and around The Hague. The parliament buildings in the city centre are the nerve-centre of Dutch political life. The upper and lower houses of parliament (known officially as the States General, or the Senate and House of Representatives) face each other across a historic courtyard called the Binnenhof. Between them stands the medieval Knights' Hall (Ridderzaal), scene of the State Opening of Parliament (Prinsjesdag) when the King delivers the annual speech setting out the government's legislative plans for the coming parliamentary year. The Prime Minister has his offices in a turret (Torentje) looking out onto the lake (Hofvijver), while the weekly cabinet meetings are held in the Treveszaal.
Apart from the High Councils of State, several other advisory bodies assist the government. Most of the ministers are assisted by councils of specialists, who offer their advice both spontaneously and on request. It is never binding but it can have a major impact on government policy. Well-known examples are the Health Council, the Election Council and the Safety Board. Occasionally the government may decide to appoint a temporary committee to advise it on a particular matter.