Statia Island Council informed about dismantling trajectory
Members of the Island Council of St. Eustatius on Tuesday, July 1, received an update about the process to dismantle the Country the Netherlands Antilles. The Project Organisation Dismantling of the Country the Netherlands Antilles POLNA facilitated the presentation.
Via a power point presentation Chairman Geomaly Martes of the POLNAâ??s Core Group brought the members up to date on the process to dismantle the Netherlands Antilles as a country and to transfer the federal tasks and responsibilities to the new entities, while also settling the obligations of the Country the Netherlands Antilles. Mr. Martes gave the members background on the dismantling process, explained the approach and planning, gave details on the organisational structure of the dismantling and updated them on the state of affairs. Mr. Martes gave a similar presentation to the Island Council of Saba on Monday. Early June, POLNA gave a presentation to St. Maartenâ??s Permanent Committee for Constitutional Affairs (PCCA).
The members of Statiaâ??s Island Council shared some of their concerns. St. Eustatius, Saba and Bonaire, the BES islands, in the future will become a â??public entityâ?? ("openbaar lichaam") of the Netherlands. St. Eustatius indicated it wanted to remain involved in determining the dates of a phased dismantling the Netherlands Antilles, even though they are directly negotiating their new status with the Netherlands. Decisions on the proposal for a phased dismantling have to be taken at a Political Consultation, slated for September this year. At that meeting, politicians will also have to take a decision on the priority of transferring the ministries and tasks.
St. Eustatius during Tuesdayâ??s presentation asked about the status of the transfer files of the Central Government ministries. These transfer files are ready and are being discussed with the island territories. The role of the federal civil servants also came up during the meeting. It was agreed that they too need to be kept informed of the process.
Present at Tuesdayâ??s meeting were Acting Lt. Governor Louis Brown, Commissioners Julian Woodley and Roy Hooker, Island Secretary Edris Bennett-Merkman and executive assistant to Commissioner Woodley Koos Sneek. Commissioners Woodley and Hooker lauded POLNA for organising a presentation. "Information is very much needed," said Mr. Woodley, noting that Dutch State Secretary Ank Bijleveld would also come to Saba and St. Eustatius to give information next week Tuesday.
Keeping the islands informed is one of the premier tasks of the Project Organisation POLNA. The islands will be structurally informed about the process. Timely and thorough information and communication is a key element in this process.