Dutch ministers and state secretaries have to limit their visits to the Dutch Caribbean due to the small scale of the islands. This is stated in the manual for members of the Dutch government, the so-called Blue Book, which has been released in connection with the installation of the new Rutte IV government. The manual dedicates a few paragraphs to the Dutch Caribbean, in particular working visits.
Because of the limited capacity and the small scale of the six islands, it has been agreed that ministers and state secretaries will limit the number of visits. In case a minister or state secretary wants to visit the islands, he or she has to timely inform the Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations or the State Secretary of Kingdom Relations and Digitalisation about the planned visit.
Members of the Dutch government who want to visit Aruba, Curacao and/or St. Maarten have to consult the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations BZK about the timing, topics and the authorities and/or institutions that they want to meet with.
After consensus is reached with the Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations, a meeting will be arranged between the involved member of government and the Minister Plenipotentiary of Aruba, Curacao and/or St. Maarten. Subsequently, the Governor of Aruba, Curacao and/or St. Maarten will be informed about the pending visit.
Planned visits to Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba also require informing the Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations beforehand. A consultation will take place with the National Government Representative to talk about the timing, the topics and the to-be-visited authorities and/or institutions. After the Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations has given approval, the visit can be planned together with the National Government Representative. In principle, partners of the ministers and state secretary do not travel along, also not when personally paid for. Deviation from this rule is only possible when there are solid grounds to do so, for example when the partner has been specifically invited by the hosting country or organisation, or when the presence of the partner is explicitly required for an “adequate” representation of the Netherlands.
The Daily Herald.