Inter Expo Congress Day 1
The Netherlands — During this congress the intention was to discuss many topics regarding the experiences after 10 years of 10-10-10. After a brief history lesson given by the Paul Rossenmoller, chairman of the Commission Kingdom relations in the 1st chamber, the moderator Jeroen Recourt, day and a member of the 1st chamber of the Status General of the Netherlands took over.
What became clear over the years in the historic creation of 10-10-10 was that it was unstoppable and the end of the Netherland Antilles as we know it.
What also became very clear is while we are (supposed to be) equal we are very different when it comes to culture, geographic location, politics and much more. So in other words; “We are one with differences”.
It was also interesting that Paul Rossenmoller asked that we stay away of the restarting of the theme discussion of the constitutional status once again.
What was also important to note was that the Netherlands doesn’t understand what it takes to run a small country nor do they understand our culture. Lastly it was important that the Netherlands doesn’t decide what the countries can do. At the same time the countries shouldn’t place everything in the light of the autonomy, because autonomy today is different than it was in the past with the world coming together.
Also various differences between the poverty, jobless, financial – social safety net, education etc. needs lots of fixing and expanding compared to the Netherlands when we speak of ONE Dutch citizen in our Kingdom.
Lastly it was interesting to hear that COHO started totally wrong due to miscommunication, still agreeing that investments must be made in the country packages to ensure reform and financing of it. The strengthening of the civic society is of utmost importance to ensure that we can understand “How much poverty can a democratic state bear”. To handle our operations we need capacity of humans and money, none of which we have enough. With this basis we went into the day handling the following themes;
- In the globalizing world, only big countries can survive like the Netherlands and the Kingdom has no other option but to follow that role of the Netherlands.
- A circular kingdom
- A post charter Kingdom, can the Dutch constitution carry (once again) the kingdom
- Dutch administrative law in the Kingdom
- A French perspective on 10-10-10. How would that have worked seeing that manner how the French overseas territories are handled qua rights
- Boldly dealing with the colonial past
- Debate Nationality and Citizenship in the Kingdom
When handling the themes stated above it became clear that while we have the rights to determine our own future in accordance to international law, it became clear that we would need to be a mature Kingdom, were we are all equal, our charter is transparent for all or better yet, get rid of the statute and take over the Dutch Constitution as our constitution and become a overseas township or province in the Netherlands/Kingdom.
While joining a present constitution that allows people to be destroyed economically and socially due to unfair decisions, the Dutch constitution and social structure is very strong and can work once the proper choices for ministers and state secretaries are made in these challenging times. Reason for this thought is that small countries cannot operate properly in big operations.
When the circular kingdom was being discussed the basis was that we need to have sustainable cooperation and change. Does the charter need to go with Pension?
The thoughts were very provoking as the inclusion of your own perspectives in all parts of the kingdom means that we need to make our dependencies our strengths by using our nature and culture to become healthier people while educating ourselves in the process.
The thoughts of not reacting but executing actions was what should be happening now in the transition period using the sustainable development goals also as a basis. A suggestion was to change our present charter slogan of “Standing our own strength, yet willing to assist each other” into “Choosing for each others strength in a sustainable connected kingdom”. Part of this was based on the Curacao donut economy which didn’t in my opinion yield the expected fruits.
The discussion of a Post charter Kingdom, can de Dutch constitution carry this (once) again” by Prof. Mr. G Hogers was very interesting when it touched the democratic deficit that doesn’t exist anymore for the BES as they now have representation in the Dutch and kingdom parliaments and also vote for their representatives.
In his presentation it became clear that in 10-10-10 a new option was created on how to be a part of the Kingdom which was the public entities. Something that many speakers clearly indicated was just another colonial way of keeping the BES islands in check like the charter does with the CAS countries.
The redline today in all the presentations for the majority was to drop the charter, become a overseas township or province and have the Dutch constitution be your guide. It allows many options like how the French overseas territories have and they can be regulated as such. This would then also not eliminate that very controversial article 51 in the charter that allows the kingdom to review what happens in townships and provinces and have the King revoke those decisions.
The question of the completion of the decolonization was basically left in the air with the statement that “If the Dutch don’t need to report it must have been completed, but what was completed in accordance to article 73 of the UN charter isn’t clear at all for no one”. The birth of the charter in 1954 created a confusion that exist until this day.
When the discussion of the Dutch administrative law in the Kingdom started some strengths but more the weaknesses became very evident with regards to the Kingdom government making the role of the Council of advice, the high council, the lack of trust in the government (the ability to do of the ministers and state secretaries in the Netherlands), a bigger need for judicial input over governmental input in many aspects due to the previous statement and the clarity of policy, the arbitrariness of application of policies, misuse of policies locally and abroad against existing legal policies all serious pointers that need immediate attention in the Netherlands themselves.
When the concordance of the laws were discussed like the subsidizing law which can be used for the liquidity support instead of loans it was also clear that we need to maybe take over some norms from the UPG’s to ensure we execute the subsidies correctly to prevent issues that happened in the Netherlands with the tax scandal for the “toeslagen affair”. Sometimes we must know who is creating our legislation so we know which rules we are playing by.
Also a look was taken of how would the French approach towards overseas territories would work to ensure that the democratic deficit would be sidelined as that aspect doesn’t truly exist in the French overseas territories as they are allowed to vote in all elections and have representation in all assemblies as regulated by the French constitution in article 73 and 74 and also chapter 13.
This was based on the fact that a Dutch citizen doesn’t have the same rights like a French citizens when it comes to participation in the Dutch elections for chambers that make laws to govern our countries. We have no formal approval or right of amendment of any kingdom laws. Only the 1st and 2nd chambers of the Netherlands. So a proposal was to reserve seats for the CAS countries in those entities but how does that work when you have a parliament yourself, or do we only vote when it pertains us with a specific kingdom law. Food for thought in a very difficult process.
The final discussion of the day was done by Dr. Aart Broek and was Boldly dealing with the colonial past. We are beggars in our kingdom when it comes to keeping our autonomy afloat so we can say we have ministers etc. because we don’t make use of our rights to demand what’s rightfully ours. But at the same time that we don’t understand that small countries cannot survive in the big world of today that is already coming together and where autonomy means something totally different.
All we get from the Dutch are favors that keeps the shame on us for begging, we not trusting each other and keeping the ropes of control in hands of our colonial masters. We are continuously waiting to see what the Netherlands will do or how the will act when things go wrong in the countries. Here to the option was to get rid of the charter and become a township or province and have the Dutch constitution be our basis for existence in the Kingdom. You will then be equal ditch citizens.
This is something though that The Hague isn’t jumping for at all according to the presenter of this part called; “Are you in our Out”
The afternoon was closed of with a discussion on the Nationality and Citizenship in the Kingdom of the Netherlands and how the different countries saw this and lived such. The inclusion as a Dutch Kingdom citizen wasn’t felt and it was more the comfort for some that it was a great travelling document.