THE HAGUE – State Secretary for Kingdom Relations, Alexandra van Huffelen, intends to take stock of the implementation of the country packages when she visits Curaçao, Aruba, and Sint Maarten next month.
She announced this during a debate with the Dutch House of Representatives Committee on Kingdom Relations.
Van Huffelen began her statement by noting that there is reason to remain optimistic: much is going well, but, as she also acknowledged, not everything. The latter will be the subject of discussion during her trip. The cause of why some reforms are behind schedule is often a lack of implementation capacity. The state secretary emphasized that the Netherlands is willing to provide additional support to help the countries catch up. It is not due to unwillingness: “Since the signing of the mutual regulations a year ago, the cooperation has been good. The atmosphere is also good.”
One area where this does not apply is the Kingdom Act on Aruba financial supervision. “That is going very slowly. The discussion with Aruba has quite intense aspects that I am not happy with. The big problem is that Aruba is now paying a very high interest (on the corona loan; editor), 300 million over the entire term, which must be covered by the taxpayer in Aruba.” During her visit to Aruba next month, the discussions will continue. Van Huffelen hinted that she is not opposed to a ‘hybrid model’, a combination of Kingdom Act and national ordinance. Both parties have now sought legal advice.
It was the first kingdom debate for the committee in a new composition. Newcomers Faith Bruyning (NSC), Raoul White (GroenLinks-PvdA), and Peter van Haasen (PVV) showed that they are already well-informed and following developments in the CAS countries. Topics discussed included ENNIA pensions, opening the growth fund for the Caribbean, reconstruction after Hurricane Irma, an investigation into the establishment of a Regional Development Company, education, the legal status of conscripts, poverty reduction, the democratic deficit, and the lack of a dispute settlement mechanism.
Bron: Curacao Chronicle