Published On: Thu, Apr 12th, 2018

Council of State still without state councils of Curaçao and Sint Maarten

Council of StatesTHE HAGUE - The Council of State of the Kingdom has had to work for years without representatives of Curaçao and Sint Maarten, reports Rene Zwart of ABCmediaonline.

Vice-President Piet Hein Donner thinks that is undesirable. “Because we do not have the full input of these countries in discussions about the broad development of the Kingdom. You do not see it in concrete cases, but in the relationships within the Kingdom and what is happening in the countries. Then you want more input from Curaçao and Sint Maarten. It remains that the Council of State of the Kingdom has a good understanding with its Curaçao born member Frits Goedgedrag about the developments. And since last year also with Mrs. Schwengle (on behalf of Aruba). She maintains good contact with the countries. But it is still the urgent wish to come up with a supplement.”

When asked why it takes so long, Donner says: “The countries need to be adequately represented and you have to have someone who we feel is able to cooperate well. In addition, there has been a change of government in both countries in recent years. Just as there was agreement about a candidate, that changed again. It is also not the case that the countries can say: we want to appoint that one. There must be a certain consensus about the suitability of the candidate.”

There are also practical thresholds such as the obligation to live as a state councilor in the Netherlands. “That is indeed an issue, but that is the law. If there is a candidate about whom we can agree, countries often come to the conclusion that they can use someone better there than here in the Netherlands. I think that is an understandable point. The thought: 'I can do it remotely, occasionally travel to the Netherlands and otherwise give my comments on proposals by email', however is a wrong idea of how the Council of State works. It is certainly not the case for the state councils of the countries that they are working 24 hours a day 7 days a week. But precisely to use the input of the countries more broadly, their state councilors are more involved than in the past in all matters that play within the Council of State, partly because experience shows that what we introduce here in term is also introduced in the countries. For that reason, we try to involve the state councilors as actively as possible and that does not go with reading documents alone. But with conversations, by being present here and by being able to walk in together. That makes the requirement to be located here real.”

To the question of whether Curacao and Sint Maarten are still represented with their own state councilor this year, Donner cautiously responds: "I have the impression that the governments are working on it."

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