The adoption of a “wall-to-wall” motion on the Caribbean Body for Reform and Development COHO Consensus Law by Curaçao’s Parliament should not be viewed as a major setback. Remember, Prime Minister Gilmar Pisas earlier already informed Dutch State Secretary of Kingdom Relations Alexandra van Huffelen that – despite having recently agreed to such – he no longer saw enough political backing for the current bill.
The latter was rather matter-of-fact in her reaction after Friday’s Kingdom Council of Ministers RMR in The Hague, also mentioning the recent letter to St. Maarten Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs from President of Parliament Grisha Heyliger opposing the draft legislation. Van Huffelen said it was now up the Parliaments of the Netherlands, Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten to indicate their concerns and possible amendments, which will be discussed during this week’s Inter-Parliamentary Kingdom Consultation IPKO in Philipsburg.
She does hope they can do so together by the May 13 deadline set in the Dutch Second Chamber so the law proposal can be handled before summer recess. The urgency of making the islands more resistant to external shocks should be kept in mind, which is the exact point made in today’s paper by Aruba Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes, who said there can be no autonomy with a weak economy.
So, the ball is clearly in the court of the elected representatives of the countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. They need to formulate something all four delegations can agree with.
And it’s not about just objecting to and dismissing what’s now on the table, but rather making constructive, realistic adjustments so that measures and investments needed to ensure a more sustainable future in the Dutch Caribbean are taken once and for all.