Kingdom News

Knops: ‘Democracy still Fragile in St. Eustatius’

Raymond Willem Knops , sinds 26 oktober 2017 staatssecretaris van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties.
Knops is of the opinion that time is certainly not the only criterion in the return to ‘full democracy’.

Oranjestad, St. Eustatius- State Secretary Raymond Knops (BZK) is of the opinion that the democracy on St. Eustatius is still ‘fragile’ and that the island should not return to a full democracy until the year 2023.

This can be read in a letter, dated May 31, 2021 which Knops sent to Dutch Parliament. “During my recent visit to St. Eustatius on May 16 and 17, 2021, I have seen with my own eyes that many results have again been achieved and significant steps have been taken in improving the living conditions of the Statians. In this way, a foundation for the future is slowly being laid”, according to Knops in his letter.

The State Secretary also writes that when the time comes for the Restoration of Facilities Act to be phased out, ’the island must be in order and the civil service must be ready to function in the restored democracy’.


“However, the current recovery is still fragile and should be sustainable. It is no small task to turn the years of administrative and infrastructural neglect of St. Eustatius towards a situation where future local administrators can perform their duties adequately. And in which there are no major backlogs. Speed ​​is therefore not the goal. The goal is a St. Eustatius to which everyone contributes and ultimately everyone benefits”, according to Knops.

On page 5 of his 27-page letter, Knops provide an indication of when he feels full democracy can be restored to the island.


Completing the criteria in the route-timetable with partial results and a schedule is a joint task of the (deputy) government commissioner and the Island Council. All technical briefings for phase 2.0 have now been given and linked to target dates. As it looks now, we are again working towards going from phase 1.0 to phase 2.0 on December 31, 2022. The deputy government commissioner sent the Island Legislative Council an overview of the target dates by letter dated May 21, 2021, with which a start has been made with outlining the time table.

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