St. Maarten vows to fight: “Bosman knows better!”

POSTED: 02/6/14 1:51 PM

GREAT BAY- St. Maarten intends to rally the support of Aruba and Curacao and aggressively resist attempts by VVD parliamentarian André Bosman to push through his draft law to review and regulate the status of Antillean Dutch citizens.

Justice Minister Dennis Richardson announced yesterday that the government in principal rejects the draft law and taking a three prong approach to fighting the issue. St. Maarten will also be sending a position paper to the First and Second Chamber to contest the draft the law.

“We discussed the Bosman law on admittance and expulsion from the Netherlands of peoples of Afro-Caribbean descent from the Netherlands. We have decided to invoke Article 11:6 of the Charter that states that the countries can declare that a law that is not a Kingdom law having impact on one of the countries. In that case once the country declares that, then it also becomes an issue that has to be discussed in the Kingdom Council of Ministers. It also means that the Kingdom Council of State should advise on that issue,” Minister Richardson told reporters during a press briefing.

The minister explained that the draft law was considered a national law and was not discussed in the Kingdom Council of Ministers. The Kingdom Council of Ministers therefore has not established a position on the draft initiative.

Additionally, the Kingdom Council of State did not have a review of the draft law; however it was placed with the Council of State of the Netherlands.

“It is my opinion that with St. Maarten declaring this an issue, the Kingdom Council of State should be involved in reviewing the law and its members from Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten should be a part of that discussion so that they officially establish a position even if it is a minority one, if they feel that the majority position does not reflect their views,” he added.

St. Maarten will also pursue cooperation with Aruba and Curacao to see if a joint parliamentary delegation can also express their views in the Parliament of the Netherlands.

“Our government is surprised that in a year when Nelson Mandela has been lauded for his effects on discrimination in South Africa and we know that South Africa to a great degree was moved  in the direction discrimination by people originating from the Netherlands, it is a shame to the country and Kingdom that such a law that is so evidently discriminatory is being pursued by the Netherlands.”

The proposal by VVD-parliamentarian André Bosman to set conditions to the establishment of Dutch citizens from St. Maarten, Aruba, and Curacao in the Netherlands.

The Meijers committee has already said that the draft law is incompatible with international commitments because it makes a direct distinction based on origin between Dutch citizens. The committee consists of experts in the field of international immigration legislation.

The governing accord states that the Netherlands wants to review Antillean Dutch citizens on criminal record and income. Bosman’s initiative draft law elaborates on this point.

Earlier this week, Today reported André Bosman intends to stick to his guns. “The Netherlands has been battling problems with underprivileged Antilleans for years. Data show that this group is over-represented in the statistics of social security and crime. School dropout is also much higher than average. With this law, the VVD aims to take away the incentive to come to the Netherlands. It also forces the islands to invest in the development of their people.”

Richardson fired back: “Bosman knows better! Although the law in itself might have general terms, he knows that it will have an effect on  Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten and that our populations are of generally Afro-Caribbean descent. It is known also in law that if a law only has an effect on a specific group of people it is considered discriminatory…..the comparisons and percentages that he used may look relatively right but when you compare that in absolute figures, the figures that come up from islands are negligible compared to other groups in the community. 1 percent of 16 million is a lot more than 5 percent of 50 thousand people. We contest and destroy each argument and the whole issue of reciprocity does not add up,” the minster noted.


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Comments (1)


  1. Max Choisy says:

    How many messages ( no longer subtle) do we need to admit that the Dutch want us to leave the Kingdom ?