Residents of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba share their ideas about amendments to two laws: WolBES and FinBES
The laws governing the administrative and financial relations between the European Netherlands and the Caribbean Netherlands are to be modified. The amendments are necessary to improve the administrative and financial relations between the public bodies and the European Netherlands. Through an Internet consultation, residents of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba are able to share their ideas about the amendments to WolBES and FinBES.
An emphasis on trust
WolBES and FinBES came into effect in 2010. WolBES defines how the public bodies are organised, while FinBES sets out how financial relations and financial supervision are arranged. In recent years, considerable knowledge and experience have been gained about how these laws work in practice. There is a better understanding of what is going well and where there is room for improvement. The proposed amendments to the laws place more emphasis on the basis for trust between the European Netherlands and the Caribbean Netherlands and on greater local self-government.
The main amendments to WolBES and FinBES
A number of proposals have been made to improve administrative and financial relations. There are plans to increase the number of island council members and governing council members. This will strengthen local democracy. In addition, the position of the Government Representative is being discontinued. Some of the associated duties will be transferred to the lieutenant governor. The amendments also seek to make supervising the performance of the islands’ tasks simpler and more flexible. The legislative amendments will help ensure a better functioning and more effective government and less bureaucracy, which will benefit the inhabitants of the Caribbean Netherlands.
How the amendments have been developed
The legislative proposals have been drawn up in close consultation with the public bodies of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. Advice has also been sought from various stakeholders, including the National Office for the Caribbean Netherlands, the acting Government Representative, the Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Board of Financial Supervision and the various ministries.
Islanders give their views
All residents of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba can say what they think about the bill in their own language. The central government is collecting suggestions on improvements to the bill from citizens, businesses and other organisations through a special website. Islanders are being actively invited through various media channels to respond to the proposed amendments to WolBES and FinBES. Responses can be made up to September the 30th 2023, 23:59 am European Dutch time.
Frequently asked questions about Internet consultation
Why have an Internet consultation?
The government regards Internet consultation as a useful tool that supplements existing consultation practices in the legislative process. It allows more people, businesses and institutions to find out about legislation that is being prepared and to make suggestions to improve the quality and feasibility of these proposals. Internet consultation increases the transparency of the process and possibilities for public participation, and contributes to the quality of legislation.
What kind of regulations are the subject of consultation?
Ministries carry out consultations on draft laws. The House of Representatives sometimes also uses Internet consultation for proposed initiatives.
Explanation and giving a response: which languages?
The website contains an explanatory memorandum on the law in Dutch, Papiamentu and English. You can give your response to the bill in Dutch, Papiamentu or English.
What is expected of you?
You can participate in the Internet consultation by responding to the questions asked. The ministry may invite you to give your general reaction to the proposal, but it may also ask you one or more specific questions. The site, which has been specially designed for this experiment, guides you through the process. After you have given your response, you will be asked for your name and email address. This information is recorded in a manner compliant with the Personal Data Protection Act. Immediately afterwards, you will be asked three questions about your views on the content and form of the consultation. You do not have to answer these questions.
What will be done with your contribution?
Your response will be made public on the website with your name and place of residence, unless you object to this. At the end of the consultation period, all responses will be reviewed and the bill will be amended if necessary. The results of the consultation and their incorporation into the draft proposal will be outlined in a report on the website. This will happen after the Council of Ministers has approved the bill.
How can you stay informed?
After you have submitted your response, you will be sent a confirmation of receipt by email. You can also indicate that you would like to be kept informed of the progress of the legislative process by email. You will also receive an email about this.