Nederlandse Antillen


LATEST FROM THE NETHERLANDS: KNOPS “CORE OF COHO REMAINS INTACT DESPITE CRITISM” The Hague State Secretary Knops (BZK) believes that the core of his draft Kingdom Act on the Caribbean Body for Reform and Developments remains intact despite the fundamental criticism of the Council of State

The minister made the advice of the Council of State public today after Dossier had quoted Kingdom Relations from it extensively. A statement from the ministry states, among other things: On 11 March, the Council of State of the Kingdom issued advice on the Kingdom Act establishing the COHO. In a consultation between State Secretary Knops and the three Prime Ministers of the Countries on 18 March, it was agreed, as is customary under the law with advice from the Council of State, that the advice is confidential and will not be published until the bill and the joint response to this from the four countries will be sent to the House of Representatives and the Parliament.

Because the confidential advice has already apparently been leaked and widely distributed, which we regret, State Secretary Knops has now published the advice on the advice of the Council of State and in coordination with the countries, the statement.


In the advice of the Council of State, the core of the bill remains intact. The advice states that it is logical for the Netherlands to attach conditions to the granting of financial support. It is also good to note that, contrary to what is suggested in various media, the bill is not at odds with the Statute. It is customary for the Council of State to take a critical look at laws and we will discuss this with the countries.

The Council of State openly questions whether the bill is “compatible”. is with the Statute and points out that the Minister of the Interior is placed above the governments and that the set-up of COHO stands in the way of success. The Council’s final conclusion is that the approach chosen by Knops is “not appropriate”. is, the bill “ falls short ” and better not be presented to parliaments in its current form.

Not Fitting

It is not the first time that a bill from Knops has received a damning judgment from the Council of State. He called the chosen construction for the dispute settlement “undesirable, but the advice to reconsider the law”. was set aside by the State Secretary.

The criticism of the Council of State on the COHO Act is no reason for Knops to stop, as can be concluded from the statement of his ministry: In the meantime, we are already a spent several months working with Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten to shape the implementation agendas based on the country packages. Concrete progress is being made in this respect. This is done, as the prime ministers of all three countries have indicated earlier, in good cooperation with the countries. We also hope to continue this good cooperation when drafting the response to the advice of the Council of State.

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