MP Wuite warns against creating two legal orders

Member of the Dutch Second Chamber of Parliament Jorien Wuite of the Democratic Party D66 is concerned that the discrepancy in policy and legislation between the Netherlands and the Caribbean Netherlands is starting to form two legal orders.

Just before the summer recess, the Second Chamber spoke about the manner in which the “comply or explain” principle was being applied to Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. These three islands are part of the Netherlands. The point of departure of the comply or explain prin­ciple is that all policy intensifications and resulting leg­islation and/or financial consequences are applicable to the Caribbean Netherlands, unless there arc reasons not to do so. This means that local circumstances demand custom-fit actions.

Jorien Wuite.

According to Wuite, residents, businesses and local poli­ticians on a daily basis experience how “obstinate” this policy is. “The 1,800 laws and regulations that are so com­mon in the Netherlands are not for the Caribbean Neth­erlands islands. Two legal orders are starting to form,” she stated during a so-called two-minute plenary debate last Wednesday.

Wuite subsequently submitted a motion that asked the Dutch government to prepare an overview before the end of this year that detailed which Dutch legislation was ap­plicable to the Caribbean Netherlands and which are the special regulations that apply to them. The motion also asked the government to actively inform citizens about this.

Wuite’s motion was motivated by the fact that govern­ment has started to map the new legislation and regu­lations, but that there was no overview of the law and regulations that are already in place for the three islands. According to Wuite, it was “totally unclear” which regula­tions were applicable to the Caribbean Netherlands resi­dents, social organisations and local politicians.

Dutch caretaker State Secretary of Kingdom Relations and Digitisation Alexandra van Huffelen did not object to the motion. She agreed that it was important for “ev­eryone who is active, resides on, works or does business on the islands knows which laws are applicable to them.” Van Huffelen stated that this overview could be drafted in the near future and she promised Parliament that this would be done in a manner that was clear and under­standable for the people. Wuite’s motion will be voted on next week Tuesday.

The Daily Herald.

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