A comment in the Daily Herald states that Dutch Second Chamber Member Andre Bosman is sticking to his guns regarding the draft law to regulate the admittance of persons coming from Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten as residents in the Netherlands (see related article). While he showed courage to come and defend his intentions in front of a crowd that included many people from the Caribbean, the VVD parliamentarian is sadly out of touch with reality. After all, most of the so-called “Antillean problem youngsters” creating a nuisance in major cities by now actually were born in the Netherlands, so this draft law is rather late to begin with, if nothing else. An added complication is that the requirements also would apply to the overseas special entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, which goes totally against the existing tradition of seamless human traffic within the former Netherlands Antilles that has contributed over the years to extensive family and business ties.
Bosman may have a point that the overseas kingdom partners never showed much interest in discussing a mutual arrangement on this issue. The truth is, however, that neither local politicians nor their voters want any restrictions. They rightfully argue that all Dutch passport holders should receive the same treatment, regardless of where they are from. This view has been supported so far by the Council of State as well as the European Court on various occasions. Nevertheless, to truly end these repeated attempts at making it more difficult for their citizens to migrate to the Netherlands, the governments in Willemstad, Oranjestad and Philipsburg should consider seriously also removing the few limitations that still exist for European Dutchmen wanting to establish themselves on the islands. Once such a system of complete reciprocity is in place and truly free movement within the entire kingdom has been achieved, this recurring nightmare – whether named Bosman, Verdonk or Hirsch Ballin – finally can be put to bed.