THE HAGUE–The Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament on Tuesday approved two Kingdom Laws that have a direct impact on the Dutch Caribbean: the Kingdom Visa Law and the law to amend the Charter to restrict the use of General Measures of the Kingdom Government without a legal base.
The Second Chamber unanimously approved the Kingdom Visa Law which establishes a general visa policy and overall framework for visas in the Dutch Caribbean countries Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten.
The law, which seeks to establish a uniform visa policy following the new constitutional relations within the Kingdom, was met with resistance by the three overseas countries because they consider the issuing of visas an autonomous, local authority.
During the handling of the law proposal last Thursday in the presence of special delegates of the Parliaments of Aruba and St. Maarten, it became clear that the Dutch Caribbean countries and the Netherlands have fundamental different views on the constitutional basis on which the law in question should be implemented.
According to the islands, the Kingdom Visa Law should not only be based on article 3 of the Kingdom Charter, which states that foreign affairs and the setting of general conditions for the admittance and expulsion of foreigners by definition is a Kingdom affair. Instead, the law should also be based on article 38 of the Charter, the use of regulations of mutual cooperation.
Aruba Minister Plenipotentiary Alfonso Boekhoudt submitted an amendment to incorporate article 38 of the Charter in the law. However, this amendment was rejected by a vast majority of the Second Chamber.
The sole motion submitted during the handling last Thursday of Member of the Second Chamber Han ten Broeke of the liberal democratic VVD party was voted down. Ten Broeke’s motion requested the Dutch Government urge the Governments of Aruba and Curaçao to restrict the admittance of Venezuelans and to enforce strict screening for people of this South American country.
The approval of the initiative law proposal of Member of the Second Chamber Roelof van Laar of the Labour Party PvdA to amend two articles of the Charter to restrict the use of independent General Measures of the Kingdom Government “Algemene Maatregelen van Rijksbestuur” (AMvRBs) without a legal base is good news for the islands.
The law, once it has been approved by the First Chamber, will limit the freedom of the Kingdom Government from issuing AMvRBs without consulting and permission of the Dutch Parliament. The Kingdom Government may only issue an AMvRB in “exceptional cases of an urgent nature” without the approval of Parliament.
In case an AMvRB is issued, it must be secured in the Charter or in a Kingdom Law within two years. Otherwise the AMvRB will be annulled. Renewal of the AMvRB after two years will only be allowed in very exceptional cases, if there are still pressing reasons to do so and if efforts have proven unsuccessful to anchor the AMvRB in a new Kingdom Law.
The Kingdom Law procedure provides the Dutch Caribbean Parliaments the opportunity to submit amendments and motions, which increases their say. This will diminish the so-called democratic deficit somewhat.
The initiative law was originally submitted in 2000 by then Member of the Second Chamber Gerrit-Jan van Oven (PvdA). Van Laar, who took over the initiative law proposal from Van Oven, will now have to defend the law in the First Chamber.
The Second Chamber on Tuesday adopted a motion submitted by Member of the Aruba Parliament Andin Bikker of the PDR party, which was co-signed by the special delegates of Aruba and St. Maarten, relating to the right of initiative of Members of the Dutch Caribbean Parliaments.
The motion replaces a retracted amendment, also submitted by Bikker and the other special delegates, to give Members of the Parliaments of Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten the authority to submit a Kingdom Law proposal. The motion seeks to ask the Council of State of the Kingdom to give advice on the amendment in question.
The Second Chamber on Tuesday was also supposed to vote on a Kingdom Law proposal to adapt the Kingdom Law Dutch Nationality, as well as a number of related amendments. However, the voting was postponed until a later date to give the parties more time to study the material.
Source: Daily Herald
Two Kingdom Laws approved