KRALENDIJK – “Together we are going to make sure that our contacts remain warm and welcoming with mutual understanding and the will to strengthen each other.” Those were the words of Councillor Daisy Coffie on the occasion of State Secretary Alexandra van Huffelen’s visit to Bonaire.
Although Van Huffelen is not very familiar with the Caribbean part of the Kingdom, Coffie expresses the hope, optimism and firm conviction that tackling things together is of value and offers advantages to all parts of the Kingdom.
“We know what it is to think across borders. Not necessarily for trade and not for profit, but because we realize, through our own centuries of experience, that real, lasting connection comes not from personal gain, but from shared experience, and from shared values,” Coffie said in her speech.
The council member speaks of a painful way in which statehood came about, but now sees it as a kind of international partnership ‘avant la lettre’. And that, just like the Benelux and the European Union, constantly needs a little love, and a little maintenance.