THE HAGUE–Dutch State Secretary of Kingdom Relations and Digitisation Alexandra van Huffelen finds it important to establish the Caribbean Body for Reform and Development COHO in close consultation with Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten. She will visit the countries in the near future to iron out the differences.
“It makes no sense to implement reforms if you don’t believe in them,” she told the media after Friday’s Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting. The State Secretary was asked about the decision to defer the handling process of the Kingdom Law to establish the COHO based on a request of the parliaments of the three Dutch Caribbean countries.
The term to submit the formal response to the draft Kingdom Law COHO became May 13 instead of April 20. This is putting the completion of the handling process of the law proposal before mid-July under pressure.
“The parliaments asked for a bit more time, because that way they can also use the IPKO [Inter-Parliamentary Consultation for the Kingdom, –ED.] to consult each other. This is a smart thing to do and gives them time to discuss their questions and concerns, to talk about what worries them,” said Van Huffelen.
The State Secretary explained that after that, she would sit with the countries to talk about the response to the questions that have been posed. “This will also take time because we have to discuss this thoroughly,” she said.
Talks with the countries will take place when the State Secretary visits the islands in May and June. She said these face-to-face talks were important. After this, the law proposal will be handled in the Second Chamber and First Chamber of the Dutch Parliament.
“There are still some steps to take, but I think it is very good to know the concerns that we each have, what the things are that worry the parliaments, what they would possibly like to have changed. If we can do that together as much as possible with the Second Chamber, we can hopefully conclude the discussion before the summer,” she said.
Doing this together and with care is key for the State Secretary. “I find that important because that law is not only about the basics of the COHO, but also to make the countries more resilient against economic shocks and to get things in order that were not in order before. That is something that we gladly give our support. Reform makes no sense if you don’t believe in it.”
Van Huffelen is a proponent of deciding together what needs to be done. “That we decide together which topics are important to carry out, based on which we take the next steps. Having the basis in order and agree on that is the most important thing for the coming months. After that, we can further look at the growth of the economy and new investments.”
As for Friday’s Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting, Van Huffelen said that no large decisions were taken. Discussed were the evaluation of the loans that were provided to the Dutch Caribbean countries as liquidity support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also discussed was the role of the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT and the Aruba Committee for Financial Supervision CAFT, and the importance of implementing the recommendations. “We agreed to look at how we, together with the CFT and CAFT, can further strengthen the financial functions of the countries.”
Van Huffelen confirmed that she will be travelling to the islands in May and June. She didn’t specify which islands should would visit when, but she did say that instead of going to all six islands during one longer visit, she would make two separate trips.
An important factor for the Caribbean Netherlands is to arrive at agreements with the public entities how to allocate the 30 million euros Caribbean Netherlands envelope. With the countries, there will be consultations about the COHO. She said that her visit would not coincide with the IPKO. “IPKO is a meeting between the parliaments. It is important that they first do their work.”
Bron: Daily Herald
Waar een wil is is een weg.
Waar geen wil is is een snelweg nog geen weg en met twee partijen is er geen “overeenstemming” uitvoerbaar.
En hoelang gaat het duren voordat dat doordringt?