Caribisch Netwerk reports that the Kingdom gets little attention in the Dutch media, but also not in the general political scene in The Hague. This is because the administrative relationships are complicated. This can be concluded from a survey of MPs, charged with Kingdom Relations.
Roelof van Laar (PvdA): “It is difficult to get the attention of the Euro-Dutch press. They are more interested in argumenting and conflicts but in less in the content of the issues.”
Gert-Jan Segers (Christian Union): “For many people here, it is a “far-from-my-bed-show”, but on the islands, it’s very important. For example, if you participate in a debate, then that picked up quickly. Actually, you do a lot in order to create attention. Relatively, per capita, there is a lot of attention for to the islands. Rightly so, because we have to maintain a historical connection. ”
Wassila Hachchi (D66): “After 10-10-’10 is there was a little more awareness concerning the Kingdom in the European Netherlands, but it still remains poor.” Through education we can enhance this awareness, she thinks.
According to Ronald van Raak (SP), the knowledge about the Kingdom in the Senate and the Second Chamber is almost nil. “Therefore, time and effort spent is not quickly rewarded with a lot of attention from the media and the Second Chamber. Even if an issue is linked to the Netherlands, people often have no idea about our connection with the islands. ”
Hachchi is of the opinion that Dutch politicians “are blinded by infighting and are selectively outraged about financial matters and administrative integrity – which, incidentally, indeed are major issues.” “But, sometimes, I have also confronted them with the issues of the Isla refinery. Then, in the Dutch part of the Kingdom, we seem to measure with double standards.”
Segers is also worried: “If you look after 10-10-’10 to the level of the facilities on the islands, the roads on Bonaire, the houses … we obviously seem to accept that the level of the facilities on the islands is lower than here. That is unacceptable. ”
The islands always have to negotiate with different persons and ministries. Van Raak: “We have the ridiculous situation that the BES islands are governed by ten ministries in The Hague. Now, the committee of Kingdom Relations takes on more and more subjects to the forefront, because knowledge about the islands is often more valuable than specific technical knowledge. ”
However, the parties are struggling with the question whether technical knowledge or knowledge about the islands should prevail. For example, on Thursday, André Bosman (VVD), will speak in a debate on the education on Bonaire, whereas D66 leaves this to their education spokesman, Paul van Meenen.
Hachchi “He has the required technical knowledge so he can provide solutions instantly and, in addition, Paul has a warm heart for the islands. It would be great if we would find that in more MPs. ”
Van Laar: “We tackle issues in a different way than other parties. We have one coordinating spokesman concerning kingdom relationships, which, in turn, involves the spokespersons in specific policy areas. I would hope that the government would also operate in this way, but there the ministers are leading. Certainly, the islands are too small to be controlled by thirteen ministers. In order to be able to work in a coordinated way, the ministries are now establishing multi-annual plans. There was too much ongoing that was not coordinated.”
Segers admits that the BES islands can be governed more effectively. “But the question is whether it would also be more democratic. That, to me, is not the highest priority. Equality and equal treatment are more important to me. These aspects are now much more under pressure. ”
André Bosman: “The BES islands are difficult for spokespersons, because the islands are governed by several ministries. If these need to talk about an island of 3,000 persons and discuss amounts of money that are too small to be even visible in the national budget, then they turn to kingdom relationships committee. “