Published On: Thu, Nov 16th, 2023

Aruban parliament delayed establishment kingdom law for years

THE HAGUE — The parliament of Aruba caused the seven-year delay in the establishment of the kingdom law that limits the authority of the Kingdom Council of Ministers, DossierKoninkijksrelaties.nl reports. Aruba’s parliament approved the legislation only this summer, seven years after the Dutch parliament gave it the green light.

Former PvdA-parliamentarian Gerritjan van Oven submitted the initiative-law in 2000, but the Dutch government did not want to cooperate. In 2016, PvdA-MP Roelof van Laar resubmitted the slightly amended law and this time it was approved.

Because the law is about amendments to the Kingdom Charter it also required approval from the parliaments of Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten. The legislation strengthens the position of the countries in the kingdom but they nevertheless ignored it for years. St. Maarten’s parliament gave its approval in 2019 and one year later Curacao did the same. Aruba waited until this summer.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Home Affair and Kingdom Relations said that “autonomous countries decided themselves when they put topics on the agenda of their parliaments.”

The ministry downplays the significance of the legislation: ‘Nothing much changes in practice. The only thing that is no longer allowed is taking a general measure that is not based on a kingdom law.”

The legislation only applies to future situations. The ten existing general measures must be turned into kingdom laws within the next four years.

A kingdom law requires a decision by the Kingdom Council of Ministers, advice from the Council of State, a round of written questions between the kingdom and the four parliaments and a debate and vote in the Second and First Chamber. Delegates from the Caribbean parliaments can take part in the debates.

Senator Jeroen Recourt (PvdA), a member of the Dutch First Chamber, labeled the establishment of the legislation as “a joyful fact.”

“After endless delays the kingdom law has suddenly and quietly gone into effect. This means that the balance in the kingdom has been somewhat restored in terms of power and enforcement.”


Related article: Amended Kingdom Charter limits authority Kingdom Council of Ministers