By Today Newspaper
GREAT BAY – “The delegations are very disappointed about the lack of progress on government-level with the establishment of a dispute regulation as mentioned in the Kingdom Charter. They consider such a regulation of crucial importance for honest and constitutionally pure relationships within the kingdom. They call on the governments to take their responsibilities during talks about this and to execute what has been anchored in the Charter almost six years ago and to what the Ipko agreed upon in May 2015.”
Thus begins the final statement of the Inter-Parliamentary Kingdom Consultation (Ipko) about the dispute regulation.
The four countries reject the temporary regulation Minister Ronald Plasterk proposed in a letter to the Dutch Second Chamber on December 3, 2015. “That is not what we have agreed upon in the Ipko,” the statement reads.
Plasterk has said last year that the final word on disputes between countries in the kingdom should be with the Kingdom Council of Ministers. Jeroen Recourt, leader of the Dutch delegation, disagrees: “The last word is with the parliament,” he told this newspaper yesterday.
The parliamentary delegations call in their statement on the governments to make sure that they have a worked out joint proposal by May of this year. That proposal should be based on the Kingdom Charter and the points of departure the parliaments agreed upon last year.
The main points of that agreement are that a high council of state like the Supreme Court should handle disputes and that its rulings are binding.
The delegations will ask their respective governments to present a reaction on merit to the current Ipko agreement-list by March 31. They will also ask their governments to inform the parliaments about the concrete proposals for the dispute regulation.
The Dutch delegation has promised to make an effort to hold a debate with their government in April, based on the reaction the governments should provide by March 31.
The dutch delegation will put together an interim-assessment immediately after the debate and discuss it via videoconference in the presidium of the Ipko.
If the governments do not present a proposal by May, the Ipko-delegations will activate the next step in their plan to put, as Recourt has put it, “maximum pressure” on the government. In this stage, an initiative kingdom law could be tabled, “based on the possibilities the Kingdom Charter offers.”
This does not exclude the option that the countries come with their own initiative-law. Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten put together an initiative kingdom law during their tripartite meeting on Monday. The Dutch delegation took note of the proposal but considered it premature and did not want to discuss its contents.