Donner: We are part of the family too

POSTED: 06/22/11 11:52 AM

St. Maarten – Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Piet Hein Donner says the Netherlands is definitely part of the discussion on free movement in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom because the country’s borders now extend to this part of the world. He’s also separated that from the discussion on free movement in the Kingdom as whole.

Donner was asked being part of the family in the Caribbean at the end of his working visit Tuesday. A day earlier Curacao’s Justice Minister Elmer “Kade” Wilsoe had said he wants to focus on freedom of movement in the Caribbean because of the family ties that exist. Donner is operating from that same principle.

“Because the Netherlands accepted responsibility for Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, we are now also a Caribbean country and we want people here to be free to move between each other,” Donner said.

That agreement aside Donner sees movement across the Atlantic as something different and believes there should be reciprocal procedures that consider the labor market and social security system of each country. For example he’s pointed out that the government of St. Eustatius wants businesses to hire and train counterparts to stand beside every one that receives a work permit.

“Whether that can and should apply to people with Dutch passports who are not from St. Eustatius is a matter to now be considered,” Donner said.

The Dutch Minister sees the discussion on free movement and other issues now under consideration as products of the breakup of the Netherlands Antilles. When that country existed the islands did not have to worry about things like movement, because it was one area.

“Now we have separate areas and acute problems can be created by that. Of course some islands can say that it’s not a problem because they don’t want people coming and going because they need people,” Donner said.


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