THE HAGUE – The plenary handling of the law proposal to establish the Dispute Regulation for the Kingdom is set to take place in June 2019 when representatives of the four parliaments gather in The Hague for the Inter-Parliamentary Consultation of the Kingdom IPKO.
This became clear during a procedural meeting of the Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament on Wednesday. The Kingdom Law proposal to establish a Dispute Regulation (“Geschillenregling”) was submitted recently to the Parliaments of the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten.
The Dispute Regulation will be established by Kingdom Law which means that the three Dutch Caribbean countries can take part in the plenary handling of the law proposal in the Second Chamber. The delegates of the Parliaments of Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten can speak on the floor of the Second Chamber and can submit motions and amendments, but they cannot vote on the law proposal itself.
However, before the law proposal is handled, the advice of the Council of State of the Kingdom will be sought on the law proposal that Undersecretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops sent to the parliaments. This law proposal contains some cardinal changes to the previous version of former Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk.
The Kingdom Relations Committee on Wednesday agreed with a proposal of Member of Parliament (MP) Joba van den Berg of the Christian Democratic Party CDA to ask the Kingdom Council of State to give advice on the new law proposal. Van den Berg deemed it necessary to have the Kingdom Council of State take another look at the proposed Dispute Regulation because of the changes to the new draft law.
MP André Bosman of the liberal democratic VVD party said he did not mind having the Kingdom Council of State render advice. However, he added, this added step to the law trajectory should not result in a delay and prevent the law proposal from being ready for plenary handling in June when the IPKO convenes in The Hague.
However, it was ascertained that the law trajectory would not be hampered by seeking advice from the Kingdom Council of State. The Second Chamber will now move to formulate questions that it will ask the Kingdom Council of State to address. The advice is expected to be ready in April 2019.
MP Nevin Özütok of the green left party GroenLinks launched the idea to have a roundtable meeting with experts to hear their opinion about the latest law proposal for the Dispute Regulation. “This is an important matter and it concerns all countries,” she said. MP Antje Diertens of the Democratic Party D66 supported Özütok’s proposal. Özütok said she would work on her suggestion further and come with a formal proposal.
MP Ronald van Raak of the Socialist Party (SP) agreed with Özütok that the Dispute Regulation matter was highly important and that it had been pending for much too long. He agreed to have a meeting with experts, but only after the advice of the Kingdom Council of State had been received.
Van Raak suggested broadening the request for advice of the Kingdom Council of State. “I am curious to know the opinion of the Council of State on the relationship between the Dispute Regulation and the Charter, and the role that the Charter plays in the disputes,” said Van Raak.
MP Bosman pointed out that next year would be the 65th anniversary of the Kingdom Charter. In his opinion, it is high time for a general review of the Charter and to look at its tenability. “The Charter was never meant to be an everlasting structure.”
Members of the Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations received a technical briefing from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations BZK about the Dispute Regulation law proposal on Wednesday morning. The meeting was held behind closed doors. A proposal of MP Özütok to allow the Ministers Plenipotentiary of Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten to attend was rejected.