According to Dutch State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops, the Netherlands should have worked more closely with the Caribbean territories in the period just after 10-10-10 to achieve certain results and prevent certain situations. He stated this in a review of ten years after the introduction of a new constitutional structure, whereby Curacao and St. Maarten became autonomous countries in the Kingdom, while Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba became special municipalities of the Netherlands.
In his view, people both in the Netherlands and on the islands were convinced that after 10-10-10 life would get better, certainly, because they worked hard on it in previous years. Knops added that the Netherlands was initially reluctant to get involved in the new autonomous countries. “Perhaps government was afraid to intervene at the time. This also had to do with the sensitivities on the islands. As soon as the Netherlands intervenes, people immediately say that it is neo-colonial behaviour.”
The state secretary said he can imagine that Dutch politicians were therefore more careful and less likely to interfere with the islands in order not to be accused. “With today’s knowledge, we know that it would have been better if we had worked together more on some points. It is easy to talk afterwards, but we must learn from it and from now on work together on the well-being of the population on the islands.”
The Daily Herald.