On Thursday, March 18, 2021, a four-country meeting was held with the Prime Ministers of St. Maarten, Curaçao and Aruba and State Secretary Knops. The Caribbean countries were informed that the advice on the Kingdom Consensus Law from the Council of State was issued and shared with the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK) last week. As such, it was forwarded to the three Caribbean countries via the cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary today, Friday, March 19, 2021.
The advice cannot be debated or shared publicly per law until it is handled in the Kingdom Council of Ministers (RMR) meeting and sent to the Second Chamber of the Parliament of the Netherlands and the Parliaments of St. Maarten, Curaçao and Aruba. The Council of Advice of St. Maarten was also requested to render their feedback and once this trajectory has been completed the Parliament of St. Maarten can then debate the Kingdom Consensus Law.
During the meeting, the way forward was discussed and each country agreed to appoint a technical team to assist in addressing the concerns of the Council of State and collaborate on the further report to be submitted to the Kingdom Council of Ministers.
Furthermore, a letter requesting a confirmation of our commitment was received from State Secretary Knops on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. A response was sent on Wednesday, March 17, with a clear affirmation. The letter and response has since been shared with Parliament. The Government of St. Maarten is committed to carry out the established agreements on the country package for St. Maarten to receive further liquidity support. The Council of Ministers has approved the completed implementation plan on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. This is two weeks in advance of the scheduled April 1st deadline. The implementation plan will be carried out within the next three months and the next implementation plan will be prepared and finalized by July.
The Government of St. Maarten received broad support from 13 of the 14 Members of Parliament present to enter into agreements with the Netherlands to receive the third tranche of liquidity support. The country package agreements were signed between Government of St. Maarten and State Secretary Knops on December 22, 2020, and included an agreement to follow the trajectory of the Caribbean Development and Reform Entity (COHO) as long as it does not infringe on local, kingdom and international laws.
Today again, during the continuation of the Central Committee meeting of Parliament on the Country Package for St. Maarten, the majority of the Members of Parliament affirmed their support to the Government of St. Maarten to continue with the trajectory as was agreed back in December 2020.