Monday , February 26 2024

Here we go again

In a comment in the Daily Herald is written: The Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament in The Hague today is handling the Bosman Law to regulate the admittance of nationals from St. Maarten, Curaçao and Aruba to the Netherlands. The three autonomous countries within the kingdom are dead set against any limitations, which would apply as well to the new special overseas public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba (the BES islands) that were also part of the dismantled former Netherlands Antilles. It must be said, the cause is not exactly helped by a recent report regarding people of Dutch Caribbean origin in the Netherlands (see related article). Their labour participation has decreased and more live off welfare, with only Moroccans doing worse among “non-Western migrants.” There is a big difference, of course, as in the case of the islands it regards full-fledged Dutch passport holders. The concern is that somehow conditioning their residence in the Netherlands would make them in effect second-class citizens. While the VVD politician’s proposal is not likely to receive backing from coalition partner PvdA, opposition parties PVV, CDA and SP may support it. One of the main reasons is unwillingness on the part of St. Maarten, Curaçao and Aruba to discuss a so-called passenger traffic regulation for the entire kingdom. The latter has to do with not wanting to change the current situation and maintaining free access to the Netherlands for their populations. However, this allows the use of the reciprocity argument, because the three islands in question still have some requirements on paper for Dutch Europeans wanting to establish themselves there, even though they don’t amount to much. Rather than discussing restrictions, what should be on the table by now is the free movement of persons throughout the kingdom, also in the interest of its long-term continuity. Whatever distinction could affect the ties with the European Union (EU) as well, including being part of a possible European passport in the future. The Dutch Caribbean countries are not in a commonwealth status, but an integral part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. As such, there can be no differentiation between Dutch citizens, regardless of where they were born and/or live.

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