Constructive judicial cooperation meeting with Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten
Last Wednesday, 18 January 2023, saw the biannual Quadrilateral Judicial Meeting (Justitieel Vierpartijen Overleg, JVO) between the Ministers of Justice of the Netherlands (Yeşilgöz-Zegerius), Aruba (Tjon), Curaçao (Hato) and Sint Maarten (Richardson). For the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, this meeting was held face to face in Aruba, with that country acting as chair.
The constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands work closely together in the fight against crime. According to Minister Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, whose responsibilities include the justice system in the Dutch Caribbean, cooperation with the constituent countries in the Caribbean is essential.
The JVO touched on a variety of topics relating to improved law enforcement. Migration was also on the agenda, as cooperation is also vital to the proper functioning of the asylum and migration process in the constituent countries. The agreements concluded during the meeting included the decision to extend the sédula travel pilot project, which enables residents with Dutch nationality to travel around the Dutch Caribbean using the local sédula identity document. The parties also discussed ongoing cooperation in the fight against human trafficking,
In addition, the new team leader of the Detective Cooperation Team (recherchesamenwerkingsteam, RST) introduced herself.
Lastly, the JVO participants considered the capacity problems that the countries have noted at a number of organisations. A range of Dutch investments in measures to combat cross-border and subversive crime will go some way to alleviate these problems. At the same time, the countries are experiencing an imbalance between local organisations and organisations that have received additional investment, leading to bottlenecks in the system. The four ministers took the opportunity of this JVO to ponder the reasons for this imbalance. Discussions on this topic will continue at the official level in the period ahead.