Dutch Kingdom prepared to discuss cooperation with France

POSTED: 10/29/14 7:21 PM

“No concrete proposal received to talk about this issue”

THE HAGUE / St. Maarten – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague says that it is perfectly willing to discuss with France ways to improve the cooperation between the Dutch and French side of St. Maarten, a spokesman for Minister Bert Koenders stated in an email to this newspaper yesterday.

On Tuesday, Today reported that René Dosière, chairman of a French quotecorner.com/prednisone.html parliamentary committee, is of the opinion that the Dutch part of the island enriches itself at the expense of the French side. Dosière maintained that money from the French treasury ends up not in Marigot, but in Philipsburg. He also stated in an article that was published on the website of the NOS in the Netherlands that measures need to be taken. If nothing is done, Dosière suggested terminating the Treaty of Concordia and establishing real borders and visa-requirements for entering French territory.

“Mr. Dosière expressed his concerns in July when a committee of the French parliament discussed a report,” the spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in his reaction. “In that meeting parliamentarians emphasized the importance of discussing the situation together. The French government has not brought this to the attention of the Kingdom, nor has St. Maarten received a concrete proposal to talk about this issue.”

“Of course the Kingdom of the Netherlands is prepared to discuss with France ways to improve the cooperation between Saint Martin and Sint Maarten,” the spokesman added. “In practice we are already doing this. The cooperation is a topic during the four-country consultation between France, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Saint Martin and Sint Maarten. The last four-country consultation was in January. In that meeting we spoke amongst other things about military cooperation, police and customs cooperation, treaties, the European Union, education, public health and social affairs. The next consultation can be scheduled once the new cabinet in Sint Maarten has been installed.”

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Comments (1)

 

  1. Louis Peters says:

    The problem that’s very obvious to everyone is that private sector of French St. Martin is totally dependent on many business activities on Dutch St. Maarten, and the perception on the part of many French citizens is that its public sector is dominating all activities on the French side. Therefore, for us to move forward to a more balanced French and Dutch sides is to create more incentives that will stimulate more private sector initiatives and at the same time create more employment activities on the French side of the island.

    This is not a new situation on the island, but because of regional economic depression the French side is faced with greater private sector challenges than they experienced in the past.