The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, consisting of twelve provinces in western Europe and three islands in the Caribbean. The European part of the Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east; and shares maritime borders with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. The Netherlands was one of the first countries in the world to have an elected parliament, and is governed as a parliamentary democracy organised as a unitary state. The capital city of the Netherlands, mandated by the constitution, is Amsterdam; however, the seat of government is located in The Hague. The Netherlands in its entirety is often referred to as "Holland", which in strict usage, refers only to North and South Holland, two of its provinces. The former usage is considered incorrect or informal, depending on the context, but is generally accepted when referring to the national football team.
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