Published On: Tue, Sep 16th, 2014

King mentions the importance of cooperation with Caribbean islands in his speech

King's speechTHE HAGUE, WILLEMSTAD - Today is the third Tuesday of September, and that means Budget Day in the Netherlands. It also means the day on which the reigning monarch of the Dutch Kingdom, King Willem-Alexander addresses a joint session of the Dutch Senate and House of Representatives in the Ridderzaal or Hall of Knights in The Hague. The Speech from the Throne (Dutch: Troonrede) sets out the main features of government policy for the coming parliamentary session. The occasion is prescribed by the constitution, article 65 of which states:

A statement of the policy to be pursued by the Government shall be given by or on behalf of the King before a joint session of the two Houses of the States-General that shall be held every year on the third Tuesday in September or on such earlier date as may be prescribed by Act of Parliament.

The Caribbean islands were mentioned in the speech from the throne of the King.  He spoke of structural recovery and growth of the economy and employment.

“Domestically, the government is working on structural recovery and growth of the economy and employment. This will require: sound public finances, a balanced income distribution, a sustainable system of social and old age, a well-functioning labor market and housing market, a future-oriented education affordable and accessible care. The eye of the government is equally focused on working with the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom, to also promote sustainable development of their society.”

The King began his speech reflecting on the air crash of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in Ukraine and the impact of the disaster.

“The summer of 2014 showed again that freedom and security are vulnerable - even in our part of the world, including the Netherlands. On July 17, a terrible fate befell the 298 passengers of flight MH17, including 196 compatriots. As a result, the festive tradition of Prinsjesdag (Prince’s Day) is surrounded this year by a mourning edge of sadness. The plane crash over Ukrainian territory has hit many directly, even those in your joint session, and shocked us all deeply. Across the country people were visible one, in silence and mourning. That commitment and togetherness offers comfort to anyone who needs to process a great personal loss.”

The King finished his speech by saying:

“This year we celebrate two hundred years Prinsjesdag. Our country has shown in the last two centuries more resilient in solidarity when circumstances demand it - even this summer. The government remains committed to working on a vital and resilient society, economic recovery and employment growth. The reforms already laid a foundation for the future of our country. Working on this assignment takes place in a turbulent and uncertain international environment and in the realization that freedom, security and prosperity are closely linked. Your work will be focused on that in the new parliamentary year. You may feel supported by the knowledge that many are wishing you wisdom and strength and with me they pray for God’s blessing upon you.”

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