Published On: Tue, Jun 19th, 2018

Knops does not commit to Parliaments’ deadline

KnopsTHE HAGUE - Dutch Undersecretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops has confirmed that he plans to submit a law proposal to establish a Dispute Regulation for the Kingdom before year’s end, but he did not commit to the deadline of November 1.

The four Parliaments of the Kingdom – of the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten – urged the Undersecretary in a letter dated May 30, 2018, to submit the law proposal for a Dispute Regulation (“geschillenregeling”) to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament no later than November 1, 2018.

Having the law proposal at the Second Chamber by November 1 would enable the four Parliaments to discuss the draft legislation during the next Inter-Parliamentary Consultation of the Kingdom IPKO, which will take place in St. Maarten from January 8 to 11, 2019.

The Undersecretary informed the Second Chamber on Monday that the Dutch government plans to submit the Kingdom law proposal for a Dispute Regulation before the end of 2018. “I strive to make this term so the proposal can be discussed in the IPKO of January 2019,” he ended his two-paragraph letter.

An earlier letter of the state secretary dated May 29, 2018, just as the IPKO in The Hague was about to start, caused quite a commotion among the delegations of the four Parliaments. In his letter, Knops suggested that the law proposal to establish the Dispute Regulation was not a priority. In his opinion, there were more urgent issues such as the reconstruction of St. Maarten after Hurricane Irma.

The parliamentary delegations were not amused and used words like “unacceptable,” “disappointing” and “outrageous” to describe the state secretary’s statement. The delegations at the IPKO unanimously decided to ask the state secretary for clarification.

The delegations reminded the Undersecretary that many years had gone by without a law proposal for a Dispute Regulation being submitted to the Second Chamber for handling. They urged him to submit the law proposal as soon as possible, but no later than November 1.

The delegations requested clarification from the state secretary no later than June 18. That clarification did come on Monday, but it did not reassure the Parliaments that the law proposal would be submitted no later than November 1 this year.

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