In the Antilles, a Resident-Representative represents the Netherlands government.
The Netherlands Parliament urged to open a social envelope for the Antilles, to be locally supervised by Dutch civil servants. This office became eventually the Netherlands Representation in the Netherlands Antilles with a wide range of functions: providing local feedback concerning Netherlands.
Middle East. Emerging powers like Burgundy, Muscovy, and the Ottomans offer fascinating case studies of state-building, looking at warfare, legitimation, diplomacy, justice and fiscality. Mc Elroy. Coastal areas are deteriorating rapidly on the small islands whose resources are limited and for which biophysical environment constitute the main source of wealth. Government support was seen as necessary, not least in order to change the social composition of the student body.
The Netherlands is only one of the three partners in the Kingdom, but at the same time the Netherlands supersedes the other partners when specific Dutch institutions and regulations are nominated as institutions and regulations of the Kingdom. The Kingdom as such has very few institutions of its own. In many instances, institutions of the government of the Netherlands qualify as offices of the Kingdom as well.
The prevalence of overlapping Dutch and Kingdom institutions causes ambiguity in the Caribbean countries: who is in charge, the government of the Netherlands or the Kingdom government? When in day-to-day reality Dutch officials act on behalf of the offices of the Kingdom, a conflict of interests may be suspected to arise. The Antillean authorities do not tire of emphasizing their claim to equal footing with the Netherlands. At times of disagreement with Dutch government policy, the Antillean Parliament Staten has tried to find recourse in sitting down with HM the Queen.
In December a delegation of the Antillean Staten proposed having an audience with HM the Queen in order to explain its fundamental disagreement with recent changes in the Dutch migration policy for some rijksgenoten. As the Netherlands parliament had already expressed its support for these changes, the Antillean Staten felt that there was no other recourse than making an address to the Head of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. What actually ensued falls behind the royal veil of the Crown. The Governor is appointed by the Kingdom on recommendation by the Antillean government.
Every visit of any significant Dutch official to the Netherlands Antilles, be it a politician, an administrative departmental head or a delegation of the High Court Hoge Raad , starts with an audience with the Governor. The Governor has to walk a tight rope between these two functions, especially when exercising his power of supervision: does he act on behalf of the head of the Kingdom or as the head of the Antillean government? Supervision by Kingdom authorities tends to be perceived as Dutch supervision and is, as such, more difficult to digest for Antillean politicians than supervision by their own head of government.
In the island government of Sint Maarten was put under higher supervision by the Kingdom. In , after a successful Antillean lobby, the higher supervision was delegated to the national government of the Netherlands Antilles. In both instances the Governor of the Netherlands Antilles acted as supervisor.
Island legislation and administrative decision making of any importance by the island executive had to be approved by the supervisor. At the time when development cooperation was the backbone of the Kingdom relations, a minister for Development Cooperation in the Antillean cabinet was the principal counterpart of the Dutch minister for Kingdom Relations.
Up until the early s, the Dutch minister for Kingdom Relations annually toured the islands in company with the Antillean minister for Development Cooperation to apportion the development aid budget.
These island tours were prepared in great detail, and projects of all sizes and sorts were discussed one by one with the respective island authorities. The moment that safeguarding good governance in Dutch overseas politics became prominent, the Antillean prime minister took over the counterpart position.
Contacts between Dutch and Antillean ministers with corresponding portfolios such as Justice, Finance, Education, and Environment amplified during the s. These collegial contacts were encouraged by the Dutch minister of Kingdom Affairs , as he felt overcome by the complexity of his portfolio. Especially his experience setting up a Coast Guard in the Caribbean waters while Defence minister, taught him a very Antillean lesson. With the Antillean government a bitter battle had ensued about the command structure of the Coast Guard.
The ministry of Defence in the Netherlands did not wish to share this command with Antillean authorities while the Antillean government did not want to surrender any fraction of Antillean autonomy. The startup of the Coast Guard operations became much delayed, a delay that the Defence minister found difficult to explain in The Hague and elsewhere. His colleagues did not need much prodding to travel to the Caribbean islands in the sun. For instance, in a total of 9 Dutch ministers visited the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, each with their own entourage.
On those occasions the Minister Plenipotentiary of the Netherlands Antilles, respectively Aruba, in he Netherlands take part in the deliberations of the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom.
In case the Netherlands Antilles, respectively Aruba, or both, have serious objections to some or other decision of the Council of Ministers, reconsideration can be demanded intern appel. In this delegation the representatives of the Caribbean countries form a minority. But what also counts is that such a reconsideration is a serious duty and undertaken with due circumspection. An intern appel is a rare occasion and as such receives extensive covering in the Caribbean news media, but also in the Netherlands.
This democratic deficit surfaces every so often on the political agendum, though without attempts at repair. These meetings are loosely structured and mainly occupied with exchanges on actual affairs, current events, grievances and incidents. The Kingdom does not have a budget of its own to spend on matters concerning the operations of the Kingdom in the Caribbean countries. The outlays for the Caribbean countries are voted for in different Chapters of the budget of the Netherlands government.
The costs involved in the Caribbean countries. Defence and Foreign Affairs are part of the regular budget of the respective ministries of the Netherlands government. The special financial assistance provided to the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba is voted for in a specific Chapter Hoofdstuk IV of the Netherlands government budget; it is not part of the Chapter for international aid to developing countries.
Many a Dutch politician has claimed that the financial assistance to the Caribbean countries is generous, among the highest in the world of development aid. These claims are not correct. On average the assistance amounts these days to ca Euro per capita per annum, while the French and European transfers to the French Caribbean are much higher.
The total of the Netherlands. Over the years, financial assistance has been a dominant characteristic of the governmental relations between the Netherlands and the Caribbean countries. It increased from Euro 61 million Hfl million in to Euro million Hfl million in to Euro million in estimated. Once development projects of all size and sorts were financed and micro-managed.
With the changeover to a permanent status in the early s, the cost of upholding the safeguards of the Kingdom became a significant part of the portfolio. At the same time, the Netherlands attempted to streamline the project portfolio and to distance itself from micro-managing the financial assistance by creating intermediary funds.
The assistance provided could best be defined as exterior contributions from the Netherlands to the Caribbean countries.
The underlying idea was that with the help of development aid the Caribbean countries would become self-supporting and thus prepared for an independent status. It was expected that eventually the Dutch aid would come to an end. The exterior character of the Dutch financial contribution to the Antillean governments did not make for planned activities that were integrated in local government plans, provided such plans existed.
Frequent attempts were made to arrive at these plans, to no avail. At one time, in , a Task Force comprising representatives of the Netherlands Antilles and the Netherlands was assigned to prepare an integrated yearsocial-economic development plan for all the islands. These and other planning efforts did not materialize in budget agreements with the Netherlands. The development plans did not spell out operational programs nor were priorities defined in a ranking order. The total budgetary estimates of the drafted development plan far exceeded the format of Dutch financial assistance.
In the early s, the Netherlands froze all spending on the development budget pending the outcome of the planning machinery. The result was that the budget could not be exhausted at the end of the annual budget cycle.
This want for budget spending put the size of future budgets at risk to be reduced. In reaction, the minister for Kingdom Affairs did not hesitate to return to the practice of funding individual projects.
In order to maintain the future financing capacity of development cooperation , the format of the individual project became the norm again. As priorities could not be defined in terms of development policies, budget decisions were based on individual project proposals as presented by the Antillean authorities. These proposals were discussed in allocation meetings with the Netherlands minister for Kingdom Affairs.
More often than not, the proposals were agreed upon. Some of the successive ministers for Kingdom Affairs backed away from the minutiae of these allocation meetings and mandated a departmental head to negotiate the long list of projects in preparation, projects in execution and most important, projects to be approved. Such meetings were held on each of the islands of the Netherlands Antilles, twice a year.