“Geregistreerd partnerschap” or registered partnership is a form of a civil union. It was introduced in the Netherlands in 1998 to allow same-sex couples to enjoy some of the same rights as married partners. The partnership is not limited to same-sex couples though: Male and female partners can also join in a registered partnership.
The Geregistreerd Partnerschap can be seen as the predecessor of the same-sex marriage, which became legal in the Netherlands in 2001; the first country in the world to recognize such unions. There is now a discussion whether there is still a need for registered partnerships.