Basis National Visa Law subject of discussion during POK

The draft National Visa Law is a subject that will come up for discussion during the Parliamentary Consultation Kingdom Relations (POK).

Subject of discussion for Curaçao is the basis of this law. For instance, it also appears from a paper, which the Directorate of Foreign Relations of the Ministry of General Affairs – that resorts under the Premier – drew up for the benefit of Interparliamentary contacts with countries within the Kingdom.

Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten suggest – in addition to article 3, first section, b and g – employing article 38 (consensus-basis) of the Charter as basis for the National Visa Law. The Advisory Council of the Netherlands Antilles supports this view. In an advice from 2009, the Council of State of the Kingdom also suggests considering article 38 of the Charter in addition to the current employed basis.

The Advisory Council came to this conclusion because it was clear to all parties that the visa policy of the past years is mainly an instrument of entry and entry policy (national affair) and to a minor degree an instrument of foreign policy (Kingdom affair). “After all, visas are issued by the Kingdom representatives on behalf of the Ministers of Justice. Moreover, the Advisory Council states that after reaching the visa harmonization, there is already sufficient guarantee for a considerable degree of uniformity”, according to the paper.

Nevertheless, the basis for the draft National Visa Law is not supplemented. “The reason being, that the Council of State had not openly dissociated themselves from a previous advice of 2007 in their advice of 2009. In 2007, the Council of State had namely advised to include the outlines of the visa policy in a Statute based on article 3, first section, parts b and g, of the Charter for the Kingdom.

Latest state of affairs
On May 25th 2010, the government of the then Netherlands Antilles gave instructions to the minister plenipotentiary to refer to the government’s serious objections regarding the statutory basis of the Statute at issue. It was clearly stated that it regards a principle viewpoint. Therefore, it was suggested to discuss this matter in an extended consultation if the objections of the government could not be met. According to the paper, the latest state of affairs (per May 23rd 2011) is that the registrar of the Lower Chamber received the report from the States of Curaçao. “Expectations are that the States of St. Maarten are yet to submit a report. After replying, the Lower Chamber will most likely set a date for the plenary discussion of the proposal of Statute. One does not expect this to take place before the summer recess.”

(Source: National Newspaper Amigoe)

4 June 2011

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