The liberal democratic VVD party wants an “explicit clause” added to the Charter that enables Curacao, Bonaire, St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius to leave the Dutch Kingdom if they want.
The VVD, the current largest governing party in the Netherlands, is placing the independence of the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom on the agenda of the November 22, 2023, parliamentary elections, and included its stance with regard to the Kingdom in its draft election programme.
The short chapter Kingdom Relations in the programme contains three main points and focuses on good financial management, strengthening the Caribbean part of the Kingdom and “modernisation” of relations.
“In the interest of the inhabitants, the governments and public finances in Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten require strengthening. The same counts for Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba where it regards the strengthening of the economy,” it is stated in the one-paragraph intro.
Under the heading “Strengthening the Caribbean part of the Kingdom”, it is stated: “The strengthening of the Caribbean part of the Kingdom must continue. Together with Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten, we work on good and decent governance, solid financial management, tackling corruption, sustainably reinforcing the economies and education.”
The paragraph “Financial solidity” states: “Reforms are not only necessary for the islands to stand on their own feet, but this also benefits the people on the islands. The autonomous countries have their own responsibility and must financially hold up their own pants. The Netherlands can offer support in the securing of quality of government, justice and finances.”
Under the heading “Modernising relations”, it is stated: “Mutuality is the point of departure for relations within the Kingdom. The conditions that Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten require of European Dutch persons who want to reside on the islands will also apply the other way around.”
It is further stated: “An explicit clause will be included in the Charter that aside from Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten can also declare that they want to become independent and as such have the right to leave the Kingdom. Also, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba can decide to want to become independent.”
With the addition of the paragraph about the reciprocity of Dutch Europeans being able to reside on the islands, the law proposal of former Dutch Parliament Second Chamber Member Andre Bosman of the VVD seems to be back on the table. In 2016, the Second Chamber voted against Bosman’s law proposal.
The 75-page VVD election programme titled “Give space, set boundaries” dedicates much attention to getting migration under control, the subject that caused the fall of the Dutch government in July this year. The VVD members will decide on the election programme during the VVD membership congress on September 23.
The Daily Herald.