THE HAGUE – “In the Kingdom we share a past and a future. After more than ten years of economic stagnation and the blows of hurricanes, a pandemic and other crises, the Netherlands wants to work on a basis of equality, reciprocity and mutual trust for a better, hopeful future for the entire Kingdom.” With these words, the 2023 budget presented today on Budget Day for Kingdom Relations and the BES Fund begins.
“In 2023, the cabinet is therefore committed to making the Caribbean Netherlands an equal part of the Netherlands. The challenges on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba are great: the physical infrastructure is not yet in order, but above all, deep-rooted poverty is a major source of concern. Global developments, such as the rise in prices, hit many inhabitants of the Caribbean Netherlands hard. In 2023, important steps will be taken to reduce the differences in (social) provisions with the European Netherlands. The structural resources of €30 million made available in the Coalition Agreement play an important role in this regard. To improve the living standard of the inhabitants of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, governments can and must perform better. This applies to the national government itself (in the Caribbean Netherlands and The Hague), the public entities and the cooperation between the national government and public entities. The administrative agreements with the new executive councils to be made in 2023, after the island council elections in 2023, play an important role in this.
In 2023, the cabinet will also make an effort for the three autonomous countries. Part of the government’s commitment is to promote long-term cooperation with and between the three countries. To this end, the government aims to implement the motion Van Raak et al. (Parliamentary Papers II, 2018-2019, 35099, no. 23) and to further define the responsibilities of the individual countries and the kingdom as a whole in joint consultation. . The basic principle remains, of course, that the three countries are politically autonomous and have their own responsibility. In line with the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the countries can count on aid and assistance when requested and appropriate within the framework of the agreements made. An example of current cooperation can be found in the country packages.”