Dramatic decreases in Dutch financing from 2013

POSTED: 09/18/11 11:13 PM

THE NETHERLANDS – The Dutch government expects to stop providing finances for implementing the Plans of Approach for the Police and Prisons in Curacao and St. Maarten at the end of 2012. They also expect to end all cooperation programs in education, economic development and governance that are administered by USONA and AMFO in that year. Only projects under the Socio-Economic Initiative will continue until they expire in 2014.

The termination of the funding is one of several details in the leaked draft of the budget for 2012. In the policy note Minister of Kingdom Relations Piet Hein Donner writes that the focus will be on supporting the autonomous position of the countries while balancing the tension over greater autonomy that is present in the islands and the Kingdom’s mission to create concrete cooperation policy.

“We will always search for a mutually acceptable balance between the degree of autonomy and the responsibility of the Kingdom. Curacao and St. Maarten will have to increasingly rely on their own strength, promote their country’s democratic processes, have more responsibility for balancing their budgets and their own policy priorities. Because of this the populations will be able to see the effects of the policies implemented by their elected officials and evaluate that based on the revenue and the expenditure of their government,” Donner writes in the policy note.

Direct/Abstract Cooperation

Cooperation between the Netherlands and the countries in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom will be largely based on the Dutch government’s responsibilities on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. This will include cooperation between hospitals, gathering statistics and a common meteorological service for the islands in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. There will also be attention for agreements made between Dutch cities and the islands and the environmental agency in Rijnmond to analyze the pollution at Isla Oil Refinery.

The Dutch Government will also continue to support the judiciary and justice instances in the islands by pumping 63 million guilders into the system. This cooperation will include financing for the Coast Guard and Criminal Investigation Team (RST), which help in the fight against organized crime, and for the Common Court of Justice and the Public Prosecutor. There is an agreement that the RST will continue until 2014, when the General Police Facility – agreed to as part of the constitutional change – will replace it.

      Though he anticipates terminating funding for the plans of approach on the police and the prison, Donner has also hinted it could be renewed. Parties have agreed to two periods of two years to ensure full implementation of the plan. The Minister has also suggested that the division of the assets and liabilities of the Netherlands Antilles may take longer than anticipated and pointed out that even though the transition regulation expires in 2014, it can be extended by a year based on consultation between the countries.

Warranty Feature 

Donner pointed out that the Kingdom government will continue to pay attention to implementing the guarantee function to ensure that all of the countries in the Kingdom are living up to commitments on human rights, fundamental freedoms, legal certainty and good governance.

“The Netherlands will support the governments of Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten in giving content to their autonomy. The results of this effort will depend on the degree of agreement between the countries on the way forward in achieving the policy objectives. We will always determine on a case by case whether intervention is necessary when the islands do not take care of themselves,” Donner wrote.

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