September 08, 2005

CURACAO/THE HAGUE – From the advice of the Council of State, which is the highest advisory panel of the Dutch government, it appears that the objected bill of minister Rita Verdonk (VVD) for sending Antillean youngsters back to the Antilles, is in violation of the European legislation and the European Treaty for the Human Rights (EVRM).

“The Council of State that gives advice on the bills, urgently advices the cabinet not to submit this bill in this form to the Lower House”, stated the Dutch evening paper NRC today. The NRC says that according to the Council, differentiate native Dutch citizens from Antillean and Aruban citizens with the Dutch nationality is improper. “If the law is enacted, there would also be a difference between Antilleans and not-Dutch citizens from other European Union-countries or foreigners with a legal residence status. These cannot be sent back.”

The return-policy is also hardly effective, since returned Antillean citizens can return to the Netherlands via another member country of the EU; according to the common law, the Netherlands is required to admit her own citizens at the border, reports NRC.

Several Dutch media reported the Council of State’s advice regarding admittance- and deportation regulation of Rita Verdonk (Immigration Affairs, VVD) today. The advice that is confidential and was sent to the minister on September 1st, got out.

Daily De Telegraaf and weekly Elsevier reported both that according to the advice, young Antilleans and Arubans may be returned when there is mention of ‘obvious social undesirable behaviour’ and that the Netherlands must support the relief of the returned youngsters in the Antilles.

Elsevier, whose reporting is concise, concludes that the advisory body has approved the bill. Rumours are that minister Verdonk had the advice out on purpose, in order to determine which way it would come out in the media.

PAR-parliamentary party leader in Parliament, Pedro Atacho’s first reaction was wondering whether we should consider the article in De Telegraaf to be taken as a political message in order to save Verdonk’s face in the Dutch election campaign.

In the bill there is a possibility to make residency in the Netherlands punishable after having been returned. But according to the Council of States, the cabinet has abandoned general legislation that makes illegality punishable. The Council of State says that the bill offers insufficient justification on the reason why an exception must be made for Antilleans and Arubans.

In the case where De Telegraaf and Elsevier reported that Antilleans and Arubans can be returned to the Antilles and/or Aruba, when there is mention of ‘obvious social undesirable behaviour’, the NRC reports that this bill ‘according to the Council, is complicated, because the judge has insufficient means to verify whether there is relief available in the Antilles, after the person is returned’.

The naturalization requirement for Antilleans and Arubans that is included in the bill leads to several handlings between natives from the Netherlands and other EU-citizens not Dutch natives, says NRC. “According to the Council, compellable naturalization would only be acceptable, when, after individual evaluation, it would also apply to all Dutch residents, without a difference based on nationality or origin.” Furthermore, the discretionary competence of the minister to return persons that is included in the bill, is according to the Council, not well-enough worked out and must not apply to groups and persons.

The advice of the Council of State was given on August 23rd and sent to the minister on September 1st. The Council of State received a whole lot of telephone calls from several media today, but they cannot release anything, since the advice is confidential until the bill is handled in the Lower House.

September 01, 2005



The Netherlands Embassy to the U.S.

Ambassador Mr. Boudewijn Johannes van Eenennaam
Netherlands Embassy - Washington DC
4200 Linnean Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008

Her Majesty Queen Beatrix
Kabinet van de Koningin
76 Paleis Den Haag
Den Haag, Nederland

Justice Department
Minister of Justice
Mr. J.P.H. Donner
Schedeldockshaven 100
Oranjestad, Aruba
Den Haag, Nederland

The Ministery of Interior and the Antilles,
the Haag, Netherlands
Minister Remkes or Minister Pectold


House of Representatives:

U.S. Senate:

U.S. Embassy to the Netherlands


Diario Aruba:

Aruba Today:


ATA (Aruba Tourism Authority)

Aruban government officials:

Govenor General
Fredis Refunjol
Plaza Hnery Eman 3
Oranjestad, Aruba

Prime Minister
Nelson Oduber
L.G. Smith Boulevard 76
Oranjestad, Aruba

Minister of Justice
Rudy Croes
Victor Hugo Stratt 8
Oranjestad, Aruba

Chief of Police
R.F. Bernadina
Wilheminastraat 10
Oranjestad, Aruba

Minister of Tourism
Edison Briesen
L.G. Smith Boulevard 76
Oranjestad, Aruba

Attorney General
Theresa Croes Fernandez-Pedra
Havenstrat 2
Oranjestad, Aruba