Support for islands in election programme PvdA/GroenLinks

The com­bined list of the Dutch Labour Party PvdA and the green left party Groen­Links dedicates a full page to Kingdom Relations in its 2023-2027 election pro­gramme, more than any other party thus far. The parties express full support for the islands and the Kingdom.

PvdA and GroenLinks pledged to continue the talks in the entire King­dom about the colonial and slavery past, the continued effects and needed recov­ery. The parties want to invest in strengthening the democratic legal order in the entire Kingdom. “This way, we create a solid basis for trust in government, di­versity in the communities and legal security through the equality of laws in our Kingdom.”

The PvdA and Groen­Links committed to work­ing on improving the situa­tion of residents of Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten with assistance and money, using the Sustainable De­velopment Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations as a guideline.

“The balance of power between the Netherlands and the Caribbean coun­tries in our Kingdom will be evened out and the democratic deficit will be solved,” stated the parties, which explained that cur­rently Kingdom laws were handled in the Dutch Par­liament and that the coun­tries could not submit a Kingdom law and vote on these law proposals.

“It is high time to adapt the Charter for the King­dom of the Netherlands to enable this. We are in favour of implementing a Dispute Regulation be­tween the countries in the Kingdom with a ‘judge’ that can give binding decisions.” The PvdA and GroenLinks want to stimulate the de­velopment of two regions, the Leeward Islands and Windward Islands, thereby putting aside constitutional structures as much as pos­sible. Businesses on the islands should maximally profit from Dutch regula­tions such as guarantee stipulations, environmental subsidies and investment funds.

Students from the Dutch Caribbean in the Nether­lands will receive support with housing, adapting to language and culture, study choice, coaching and going home after studying. Edu­cation in the Caribbean countries will receive sup­port, financially and with know-how.

A social minimum will be implemented for the inhabitants of the Carib­bean Netherlands islands Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba and measures will be carried out that guarantee that no one lives under this minimum. The classic and social constitutional rights fully apply to the Caribbean part of the Netherlands. “Together with the islands, we work on a solid ap­proach to tackle the conse­quences of climate change and we invest in the protec­tion of vulnerable nature on and around the islands. We offer the communities the necessary space and support to give direction and content to their future. We support the desire to strengthen one’s own iden­tity and culture.”

The parties are in favour of an island-specific ap­proach, and measures are only taken in consultation with local representatives and experts, taking their priorities and limited ca­pacity into consideration. Education and employ­ment of local people will be actively supported.

The Caribbean Nether­lands islands require suf­ficient funding to execute their tasks. In St. Eustatius, full democracy will be re­stored as soon as possible. And lastly, the parties want to remove all obstacles for trade between the coun­tries and islands of the Kingdom, possibly through a Customs Union.

The election programme titled “Together for a hope­ful future” was presented on Tuesday and will be voted on by the members of the parties during a con­gress on October 14. The Dutch parliamentary elec­tions are on November 22. PvdA Leader in the Second Chamber Attje Kuiken is a prominent member of the Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations.

The Daily Herald.

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