From left: MPs Rolando Brison (UP), Chairperson of Parliament Grisha Heyliger-Marten (UP) and Claudius “Toontje” Buncamper (US Party).
PHILIPSBURG--A four-person delegation from the Parliament of St. Maarten is currently in the Netherlands participating in the 31st Congress and Trade Mission on “Ten Years after the Dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles”.
The delegation comprises Chairperson of Parliament, Member of Parliament (MP) Grisha Heyliger-Marten, MP Rolando Brison, MP Claudius “Toontje” Buncamper and Secretary General of Parliament Garrick Richardson.
The Congress began with an introduction by Member of the First Chamber of the Dutch Parliament and Chair of the Kingdom Relations Committee of the First Chamber, Paul Rosenmoller, who reflected on the creation of 10-10-10 and indicated how he thinks the future should be viewed. Rosenmoller was followed by a speaker who discussed the necessity to have a clear structure within the kingdom and elaborated on his article: To a Mature Kingdom (“Naar een Volwassen Koninkrijk”).
Bianca Maasdamme of ProgresCaribbean gave a presentation on a circular kingdom, touching on sustainable collaboration and change within the kingdom which can be to the benefit of all partners within the kingdom. She mentioned that the focus should be on the potentials, to exchange, strengthen and enrich. She also indicated that “we are connected, yet still dependent on each other.” Professor Gerhard Hoogers was the following speaker and he discussed a post-statutory kingdom and questioned if the Constitution of the Netherlands could support the kingdom (again). He mentioned that the islands have a kingdom construct that raises a lot of questions and that the Constitution of the Netherlands could be a possible solution for the constitutional construction.
Professor Herman Broring discussed Dutch administrative law within the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the need for the updating of old legislation which, if not done, creates the situation of execution based on policies, which means the erosion of the legality principle, which in turn means the weakening of the role of the Parliaments.
Gohar Karapetian then presented the French perspective on 10-10-10 in which she looked at the French Republic with its overseas territories and compared it to the Dutch Caribbean and the Dutch Kingdom and questioned if such a system would work for the Dutch Kingdom, also looking at the representation that the overseas territories and their people have within the French National Assembly and the French Senate.
The last speaker for the day was Aart Broek who presented a thought-provoking column titled: Bold Reckoning with Colonial Past (“Stoutmoedige Afrekening met Koloniaal Verleden”).
The first day ended with a panel discussion on the topic of Nationality and Citizenship in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Brison, along with Members of Parliament of Aruba, Curaçao and the Netherlands, and professors and immigration lawyers participated in this panel discussion looking at what it means to be Dutch, our differences as people and the Dutch passport. The Congress is being held at Nieuwspoort in The Hague and will continue today, Thursday, December 9.