Upper Chamber approves National Laws

THE HAGUE — The Upper Chamber unanimously approved the National Laws today that were necessary for the new status of the Antilles per October 10th 2010, including the National Law for the Amendment of the Statute and the National Law that enables the Order of National Council (AMvRB). The SP was the only party who had objected the law for financial supervision.

“Despite the differences there may be between the islands, we all set store with the bond with the Kingdom. It would be advisable if we were to approach that what binds us”, said Premier Emily de Jongh-Elhage a few minutes before the voting, when it was actually already clear the laws would be adopted. The Aruban Premier Mike Eman expressed his admiration for all that was realized within such a short time. “We are pleased to have cooperated with this.”
The turn out of the voting is the result of considerable lobbying during the dinner, which the Antillean and Aruban delegation members had had Monday evening, but particularly also for the promise from State-Secretary Ank Bijleveld-Schouten of Kingdom Relations and Minister Ernst Hirsch-Ballin of Justice that the Netherlands will indeed intervene if such is necessary.
Most of the Chamber-members had wanted a clear answer to the question whether the Netherlands would make use of the possibility to intervene as soon as problems in the judicial or financial field would occur. Exactly for that reason, one had requested a possible prolongation of the Order in National Council. “We vote in favor because there is no alternative, but also because of that promise from the State-Secretary”, says PvdA Upper Chamber member Marijke Linthorst, who is also chairwoman of the Committee Netherlands-Antillean and Aruban Affairs.
VVD-member Frank van Kappen, with whom one had held intensive conversations to win him over according to parties involved, also said there was actually no alternative. “If we vote against, there is an administrative vacuum, but the decisive vote in favor is that the double administrative layer disappears, whereby we have a better view on each other.”
The falling away of the double administrative layer is also one of the reasons that Bijleveld-Schouten has confidence and why she just yet doesn’t assume the Netherlands will have to intervene at any given moment. “That is an ultimate remedy. An attempt will first be made to find a solution by means of cooperation. Only when that cooperation does not bear fruit, will we intervene afterwards. The National Council of Ministers could subsequently make an arrangement, and we shall take that seriously as well”, says the State-Secretary.

Van Kappen further remarked there was hardly a time in the past when intervention was required because the Netherlands had no other means than superior supervision. “We only had that one hammer in our tool box. Perhaps we should expand our tool box with more refined ways”, says Van Kappen, who found the application of the Order in National Council to force a decision on the domicile of the Court, for example, much too severe. Other Chamber-members also appeared to support more means to monitor the status of affairs on the islands and adjust such if necessary. Bijleveld said this was a good subject to include in the further interpretation of the Kingdom after 10-10-2010.
Finally, the democratic deficit also came up for discussion. Paul Croes, chairman of the Aruban States, repeated his plea for a Kingdom organization that could bring up solutions for disputes between the countries in the Kingdom. “An AMvRB does not fit within the Kingdom. An independent Kingdom organ, that could solve disputes in consensus and act upon cross border subjects, will reduce the democratic deficit and improve the relationships”, says Croes. His suggestion will also be included in further discussions.

(Source:National newspaper Amigoe)

6 July 2010

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