BZK lawyer outlines new laws in the Caribbean Netherlands

The information session, which took place in the Delfins hotel, was well attended. Photo: ABC Online Media

KRALENDIJK – On Wednesday, legislative lawyer Maik Schumacher of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Affairs (BZK) presented the outlines of changes to the BES Public Entities Act (WolBES) and the Public Entities Finance Act (FinBES).

The biggest changes seem to be attributable to the WolBES. For example, the position of Kingdom Representative is being considered and, if everything goes ahead, there will be a significant increase in the number of island council members in the local parliaments of the three BES islands. Although Schumacher indicated that a large amount of work has already been done in recent years, in discussions with many parties on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, the official consultation has yet to begin.

“There is still a lot of coordination to be done about the proposed changes. There will be another official consultation round that will last eight weeks. It is important that there is a law that the islands can use for a number of years,” Schumacher told the audience.

Schumacher also pointed to the fact that legislation is not a static process. “It remains a dynamic process,” the lawyer warned, because circumstances change and a situation must always be sought in which both the three islands and the national government feel good.


According to Schumacher, when the position of Kingdom Representative is abolished, it is also important that the duties of the Kingdom Representative are properly reallocated. This can be done both upwards and downwards. The tasks could be transferred ‘upwards’ to the Minister or State Secretary for Royal Affairs, but also ‘downwards’, which could include the lieutenant governors of the three islands.

Changes are also proposed in the FinBES. This mainly concerns the ability to deploy instruments separately if things do not go well. “For example, the preparation of the budget may be difficult, but the financial management is quite in order,” says Schumacher. It is therefore important to intervene or support where the greatest challenge lies.

Looking forward

Schumacher pleaded several times in his speech that he would rather look forward than backward. The islands seem to be inclined to that, according to the lawyer’s argument. “I would really advocate looking ahead. What do we want to be different and what do the islands feel good about?” asked Schumacher. The lawyer also pointed out the importance of cases appearing to work in practice. “And if they turn out not to work, you have to change the law again.

Deel dit artikel