For constitutional reform in the Kingdom, 2011 is the year of implementation

From 10 October 2010 Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba will be public bodies with structures comparable to those of Dutch municipalities. The central government of the Netherlands is taking over the role that the former Netherlands Antilles played on these islands. This means that the members of the Dutch government will be politically accountable for their respective policy areas in the three public bodies.

Curaçao and St Maarten

For the time being the Netherlands will be supporting the new countries within the Kingdom as they organise themselves to function properly. Action plans have been drawn up for those parts of government that are not yet functioning or will not be functioning well enough on the date that Curaçao and St Maarten become countries. These action plans should in principle be implemented within two years. Their implementation will be a central task for the new countries in 2011.

Aruba

Aruba and the Netherlands have agreed a joint agenda to improve legislation, law enforcement and quality of life in the inner cities in the coming years, including 2011. The study now in progress on the state of governance in Aruba is expected to be completed at the beginning of 2011. On the basis of the results, the need for additional measures and the level at which they should be taken will be assessed. It is already clear, however, that improvements to the immigration system and the Aruba Police Force must be vigorously pursued. These improvements are primarily the responsibility of the country of Aruba, as is the country’s alarming financial situation. The government of Aruba is making efforts to address that problem as well.

A new vision of the Kingdom

The changes in the constitutional situation necessitate a new vision of the Kingdom, which must include a clearer definition of the safeguard function provided for by the Charter. A policy document on the Kingdom in the long term will be presented to the House of Representatives in 2011.