Published On: Thu, Sep 29th, 2016

Bosman-law off the table

No support for “discriminating law”

THE HAGUE – The controversial Bosman-law died in the Second Chamber yesterday, after all parties – with the exception of the VVD and the PVV – distanced themselves from it. Bosman’s law would have set criteria for citizens from St. Maarten. Aruba and Curacao who want to establish themselves in the Netherlands. Bosman pushed his law in an effort to prevent that islanders end up in a life without perspective or, worse, in criminality.

Bosman was “disappointed” after the debate in the Dutch parliament. He had revised the text of his initiative-law after consultation with the Council of State. “Sooner or later there will be a law like this one,” Bosman said. “I have listened to a debate wherein everybody acknowledges the problem. Changes within the Kingdom are not the work of one day. My initiative is a stone in the river that will change the course of that river in the long term.”

Bosman’s primary argument to justify his demand for imposing requirements on Antilleans who want to settle down in the Netherlands is that the islands also impose requirements on Dutch citizens who want to settle down in the Caribbean. Those requirements are anchored in the national ordinance admission and expulsion (LTU). The requirements are about education, employment and income, the Volkskrant reported yesterday. Bosman wants to impose similar requirements for residence in the Netherlands during the first five years, in particular to stem the arrival of Antillean criminals. Bosman referred to problems in cities like Terneuzen, Zwolle and Den Helder were Antilleans are over-represented in crime statistics.

But Bosman’s initiative-law met with a lot of legal criticism. The argument of reciprocity is not valid, critics say, because the islands are much smaller than the Netherlands; they have smaller economies and a limited capacity to absorb new inhabitants.

The Dutch governing accord of September 30, 2012 says that the movement of people within the kingdom will be regulated, but coalition partner PvdA did not go along with the VVD-initiative. “This is a discriminating law,” PvdA-MP Roelof van Laar said.

According to PVV-MP Sietse Fritsma, the PvdA made the VVD bow to its wishes again, after the social-democrats refused earlier support for an initiative to make illegality a crime.