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Kingdom of the Netherlands
Koninkrijk der Nederlanden
Flag Coat of arms
Motto"Ik zal handhaven" (I shall endure)
AnthemHet Wilhelmus
Capital
(and largest city)
Amsterdam2
Official language(s) Dutch1, English, Papiamentu, Frisian
Recognised regional languages Low Saxon, Limburgish, Spanish
Government Parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy
 -  Monarch Beatrix
 -  Prime Minister
Jan Peter Balkenende
 -  Minister Plenipotentiary of Aruba
Frido Croes
 -  Minister Plenipotentiary of the Netherlands Antilles
Paul Comenencia
Establishment
 -  Present Kingdom established 1815 
 -  Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands (federacy)
October 28, 1954 
Area
 -  Total 42,508 km2 (134th)
16,478 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 18.41
Population
 -  2009 estimate 17,000,000 (58th)
 -  Density 393/km2 (23rd)
1,019/sq mi
Currency Euro (Netherlands), Aruban florin (Aruba) and Netherlands Antillean gulden (Netherlands Antilles) (€ EUR, AWG and ANG)
Time zone CET and AST (UTC+1 and -4)
 -  Summer (DST) CEST and AST (UTC+2 and -4)
Drives on the right
Internet TLD .nl3, .aw, .an
Calling code +31, +297, +599
1 Papiamento is an official language in Aruba and the islands of Bonaire and Curaçao in the Netherlands Antilles. English is an official language on the islands of Saba and Sint Eustatius, as well as the island area of Sint Maarten, also in the Netherlands Antilles. Spanish, though not among the official languages, is widely spoken on the islands. In Friesland, the West Frisian language is an official language. Dutch Low Saxon and Limburgish are officially recognised as regional languages in the Netherlands.
2 The Hague is the seat of the government of the Netherlands; Oranjestad is the capital of Aruba; and Willemstad is the capital of the Netherlands Antilles.
3 Also .eu in the Netherlands, shared with other EU member states.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands (Dutch: About this sound Koninkrijk der Nederlanden ) is a state with territory in Western Europe (the Netherlands) and in the Caribbean (Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles). The three parts are referred to as "countries", and participate on a basis of equality as partners in the Kingdom. Their constitutional positions, however, are not the same. Both Caribbean countries are autonomous as provided for in the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which has been the Kingdom's leading document since 1954. The Charter also provides them, however, with a say in the Affairs of the Kingdom as described in the Charter, when these affairs affect Aruba and/or the Netherlands Antilles directly. The Netherlands are ruled by the institutions of the Kingdom that are mentioned in the Charter but regulated in the Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands was the highest law of the Kingdom up to 1954. It has since remained the document from which the institutions of the Kingdom originate and are (per article 5 of the Charter), for the most part, regulated. As no new separate institutions for the Kingdom have been installed, the Netherlands still conducts its affairs internally and externally in its capacity of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Suriname was a constituent country within the Kingdom from 1954 to 1975. It has since been an independent republic. Aruba has been a separate constituent country of the Kingdom since 1986. Netherlands New Guinea was a dependent territory of the Kingdom until 1962, but not an autonomous country.

Contents

History

Before the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands was proclaimed in 1954, Suriname, Netherlands New Guinea, and the "Netherlands Antilles", formerly "Colony of Curaçao and Subordinates" (Kolonie Curaçao en Onderhorige Eilanden) were colonies of the Netherlands.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands finds its origin in the aftermath of Napoleon's defeat in 1813. In that year the Netherlands regained its freedom and the Sovereign Principality of the Netherlands was proclaimed with William Prince of Orange and Nassau as sovereign. Reunification with the Southern Netherlands, (roughly equivalent to what is now Belgium and Luxembourg) was decided in 1814. In March 1815 the Sovereign Prince adopted the style of a King of the Netherlands and the Kingdom had come into being. The King of the Netherlands was also Grand Duke of Luxembourg, a province of the Kingdom that was at the same time a Grand Duchy of the German Confederation. In 1830, Belgium seceded from the Kingdom, a step that was only recognised by the Netherlands in 1839. At that point Luxembourg became a fully independent country in a personal union with the Netherlands. Luxembourg also lost more than half of its territory to Belgium. To reinstate the German Confederation for that loss, the remainder of the Dutch province of Limburg received the same status that Luxembourg had enjoyed before, a Dutch Province that at the same time formed a Duchy of the German Confederation. That status was reversed when the German Confederation ceased to be in 1867 and at that point Limburg reverted to its former status as an ordinary Dutch province, although the King of the Netherlands keeps using the additional title of Duke of Limburg to this day.

The origin of the administrative reform of 1954 was the December 7, 1942 radio speech by Queen Wilhelmina pertaining to the August 14, 1941, Atlantic Charter and the Declaration by the United Nations, which was signed by the Netherlands on January 1, 1942. In this speech the Queen, on behalf of the Dutch government in exile in London, expressed a desire to review the relations between the Netherlands and its colonies after the end of the war. After the liberation, the government would be calling a conference to agree on a settlement in which the overseas territories could participate in the administration of the Kingdom on the basis of equality. Initially, this speech had propaganda purposes; the Dutch government had the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) in mind, and was hoping to appease public opinion in the United States, which had become skeptical towards colonialism.[1]

After Indonesia became independent, a federal construction was considered too heavy as the economies of Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles were insignificant compared to those of the Netherlands. In the Charter, as it came about in 1954, Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles each got a Minister Plenipotentiary based in the Netherlands, who had the right to participate in Dutch cabinet meetings when it discussed affairs that applied to the Kingdom as a whole, when these affairs pertained directly to Suriname and / or the Netherlands Antilles. Delegates of Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles could participate in sessions of the First and Second Chamber of the States-General. An overseas member could be added to the Council of State when appropriate. According to the Charter, Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles were also allowed to alter their Basic Laws (Staatsregeling). The right of the two autonomous countries to leave the Kingdom unilaterally was not recognised; yet it was stipulated the Charter could be dissolved by mutual consultation.[1]

In 1955, Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard visited Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles. The visit was a great success. The royal couple was enthusiastically welcomed by the local population and the trip was widely reported in the Dutch press. Several other royal visits were to follow.[2]

In 1969, an unorganised strike on the Antillian island of Curaçao resulted in serious disturbances and looting, during which a part of the historic city centre of Willemstad was destroyed by fire. Order was restored by Dutch marines. The same year in Suriname saw serious political instability with the Surinamese prime minister, Jopie Pengel, threatening to request military support to break a teacher strike.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, the reigning monarch of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

In 1973, a new Dutch cabinet under Labour leader Joop den Uyl assumed power. In the government policy statement the cabinet declared a wish to determine a date for the independence of Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles with the government of those nations. The Antillean government was non-committal; the same held for the Surinamese Sedney cabinet (1969–1973). The Suriname 1973 elections brought the National Party Combination (Nationale Partij Kombinatie) to power, with Henck Arron as its prime minister. The new government declared on its instatement that Suriname would be independent before 1976. This was remarkable, as independence had not been an issue during the election campaign. The Den Uyl-government in The Hague now had a willing partner in Paramaribo to realise its plans for Surinamese independence. Despite vehement and emotional resistance by the Surinamese opposition, Den Uyl and Arron reached an agreement, and on 25 November 1975, Suriname became independent.[3]

Government and politics

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Charter and constitution

The Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Basic Laws of Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles are subordinate to the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Government in the Netherlands is regulated by the Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, while government in Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles is provided for in the Basic Laws of these two countries. The Constitution also constitutes and regulates the institutions of the Kingdom that are mentioned in the Charter. The provisions in the Charter for these institutions are additional and are applicable for only those Affairs of the Kingdom as described in the Charter, when these affect Aruba and / or the Netherlands Antilles directly. Charter and Constitution are both leading documents affecting the affairs of the Kingdom as a whole. The Charter in the affairs of the Kingdom that affect Aruba and / or the Netherlands Antilles directly, the Constitution in all other matters, with the exception of matters that are provided for by the Basic Laws of Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles.

In cases where Affairs of the Kingdom do not affect Aruba and / or the Netherlands Antilles, they are dealt with according to the provisions laid down in the Constitution. In these cases the Netherlands acts alone, according to the Constitution and in its capacity as the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The other two countries cannot do the same for Affairs of the Kingdom that only pertain to them and not to the Netherlands proper. In these cases the provisions of the Charter prevail.

Changes in the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands can only be made when all countries agree.

Kingdom affairs

Article 3 of the Charter specifies the Affairs of the Kingdom:

  • Maintenance of the independence and the defence of the Kingdom;
  • Foreign relations;
  • Netherlands nationality;
  • Regulation of the orders of chivalry, the flag and the coat of arms of the Kingdom;
  • Regulation of the nationality of vessels and the standards required for the safety and navigation of seagoing vessels flying the flag of the Kingdom, with the exception of sailing ships;
  • Supervision of the general rules governing the admission and expulsion of Netherlands nationals;
  • General conditions for the admission and expulsion of aliens;
  • Extradition.

Paragraph 2 of Article 3 specifies that "other matters may be declared to be Kingdom affairs in consultation".[4]

These Kingdom affairs are only taken care of by the Kingdom government, however, if the affair affects Aruba or the Netherlands Antilles. Article 14, paragraph 3, of the Charter, foresees the handling of Kingdom affairs in all other cases by the Netherlands.[4]

Government

The Monarch and the Council of Ministers of the Netherlands together form the Government of the Kingdom as a whole. According to article 7 of the Charter, the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom consists of the Council of Ministers of the Netherlands complemented by one Minister Plenipotentiary of Aruba and one Minister Plenipotentiary of the Netherlands Antilles.[4] The Dutch Prime Minister chairs the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom.[5]

In February 2007, a Deputy Council for Kingdom Relations was established.[6] This deputy council prepares the meetings of the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom. The establishment of such a Council has long been advocated by the Council of State of the Kingdom.[7]

The Government and the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom, along with the monarchy itself, are subject to Article 5 of the Charter that refers their regulation mainly to the Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands as far as the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands does not provide for that. However, the two roles these institutions have in the Netherlands proper and the Kingdom as a whole, are judicially separate.

Two legal instruments are available at the Kingdom level: the Kingdom act (Dutch: Rijkswet) and the Order-in-Council for the Kingdom (Dutch: Algemene maatregel van Rijksbestuur). An example of a Kingdom act is the "Kingdom Act regarding Dutch citizenship" (Dutch: Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap).

The King or Queen of the Netherlands is the head of state of the Kingdom. The King is represented both in Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles by a governor.

Legislature

The legislature of the Kingdom consists of the States-General of the Netherlands and the Government. Articles 14, 16 and 17 of the Charter give some participation to the parliaments of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.

Council of State

Article 13 of the Charter specifies that there is a Council of State of the Kingdom. It is (as all institutions of the Kingdom) regulated in the Constitution, but the Charter implies that at the request of the Netherlands Antilles or Aruba, one member from the Antilles and one from Aruba can be included in the Council of State.[4] Both the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba are currently exercising this right.[5] This has not always been the case; the Netherlands Antilles had no member until 1987 and Aruba had none until 2000.[8]

Foreign affairs

The Kingdom negotiates and concludes international treaties and agreements. Those that do not affect Aruba and / or the Netherlands Antilles directly are dealt with by the provisions of the Constitution (in fact by the Netherlands alone). Article 24 of the Charter specifies that when an international treaty or agreement affects the Netherlands Antilles or Aruba, the treaty or agreement concerned shall be submitted to the representative assemblies of the Netherlands Antilles or of Aruba. The article further specifies that when such a treaty or agreement is submitted for the tacit approval of the States-General of the Netherlands (Dutch: Staten-Generaal der Nederlanden), the Ministers Plenipotentiary may communicate their wish that the treaty or agreement concerned shall be subject to the express approval of the States-General.[4]

Article 25 gives the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba the opportunity to opt-out from an international treaty or agreement.[4] The treaty or agreement concerned then has to specify that the treaty or agreement does not apply to the Netherlands Antilles or Aruba.

Article 26 specifies that when the Netherlands Antilles or Aruba communicate their wish for the conclusion of an international economic or financial agreement that applies solely to the Country concerned, the Government of the Kingdom shall assist in the conclusion of such an agreement, unless this would be inconsistent with the Country's ties with the Kingdom.[4]

Article 27 specifies the involvement of the Netherlands Antilles or Aruba in the preparations for a treaty or agreement that affects them and Article 28 specifies that the Netherlands Antilles or Aruba may, if they so desire, accede to membership of international organisations.[4]

Judiciary

The Hoge Raad der Nederlanden is the supreme court of the Kingdom by virtue of the Cassation regulation for the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.[9] The basis for this regulation is article 23 of the Charter. The second paragraph of that article specifies that if an overseas country of the Kingdom so request, the Kingdom Act should provide for an additional court member from that country.[4] To date, neither Aruba nor the Netherlands Antilles have used this right.

According to Article 39 of the Charter, "civil and commercial law, the law of civil procedure, criminal law, the law of criminal procedure, copyright, industrial property, the office of notary, and provisions concerning weights and measures shall be regulated as far as possible in a similar manner in the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba". The Article further stipulates that when a drastic amendment of the existing legislation in regard to these matters is proposed, the proposal shall not be submitted to or considered by a representative assembly until the Governments in the other countries have had the opportunity to express their views on the matter.[4]

Constitutional nature

Most scholars agree that it is difficult to group the constitutional arrangements of the Kingdom in one of the traditional models of state organization, and consider the Kingdom to be a sui generis arrangement.[8][10] Instead, the Kingdom is said to have characteristics of federal state, a confederation, a federacy, and a devolved unitary state.

The Kingdom's federal characteristics include the delineation of Kingdom affairs in the Charter, the enumeration of the constituting parts of the Kingdom in the Charter, the fact that the Charter subordinates the law of the constituting countries to the law of the Kingdom, the establishment of Kingdom institutions in the Charter, and the fact that the Kingdom has its own legislative instruments: the Kingdom act and the Order-in-Council for the Kingdom. Its confederal characteristics include the fact that the Charter can only be amended by consensus among the constituent countries; in most ordinary federations, the federal institutions themselves can change the constitution.[8]

Characteristics that point more or less to a federacy include the fact that the functioning of the institutions of the Kingdom is governed by the Constitution of the Netherlands where the Charter doesn't provide for them. The Charter also doesn't provide a procedure for the enactment of Kingdom acts; articles 81 to 88 of the Constitution of the Netherlands also apply for Kingdom acts, be it with some additions and corrections stipulated in articles 15 to 22 of the Charter. The only Kingdom institution that requires the participation of the Caribbean countries in a mandatory way is the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom; both the Supreme Court and the Council of State of the Kingdom only include Caribbean members if one or both Caribbean countries ask for it, and the Caribbean countries are almost completely excluded from participating in the Kingdom's legislature. They can, however, participate in the drafting of a Kingdom act and their Ministers Plenipotentiary can oppose a Kingdom act otherwise supported by the Kingdom government in front of the Kingdom's parliament. Furthermore, according to article 15 of the Charter, the Ministers Plenipotentiary can request the Kingdom parliament to introduce a draft Kingdom act.[8]

Last, but not least, the Netherlands can, according to article 14 of the Charter, conduct Kingdom affairs on its own if conducting such affairs doesn't affect Aruba or the Netherlands Antilles. The Netherlands Antilles and Aruba do not have this right.[8]

A characteristic that points to a devolved unitary state is the ability of the Kingdom government, according to article 50 of the Charter, to render a legislative or administrative measure of one of the Caribbean countries void if it is inconsistent with the Charter, an international agreement, a Kingdom act, an Order-in-Council for the Kingdom, or if it regulates an otherwise Kingdom affair.[8]

The constitutional structure of the Kingdom is summarized by constitutional scholar C. Borman, in a often quoted sentence, as follows:

a voluntary association of autonomous countries in a sovereign Kingdom that is placed above them, in which the institutions of the Kingdom largely coincide with the institutions of the largest country, in which on the level of the Kingdom only a few affairs are governed, and in which from the level of the Kingdom a limited influence can be exerted on the smaller countries.
C. Borman[11]

Constitutional scholar C.A.J.M. Kortmann speaks of an "association of countries that has characteristics of a federation, yet one of its own kind."[12] Belinfante and De Reede do speak about a "federal association" without any reservations.[13]

Relationship with the European Union

The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a member state of the European Union. However, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba are not considered part of the EU, but rather have the status of overseas countries and territories (OCT). Since citizenship is a Kingdom affair, and is thus not distinguished for the three countries, citizens from all three countries are also citizens of the European Union.

Constitutional reform of the Netherlands Antilles

A joint commission has proposed major reforms for the Netherlands Antilles. On October 11, 2006 and November 2, 2006, agreements were signed between the Dutch government and the governments of each island that would put into effect the commission's findings by December 15, 2008.[14] There has been some delay, the currently planned date is 10 October 2010. Under these reforms, both Curaçao and Sint Maarten will form new constituent countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, thereby dissolving the current Netherlands Antilles.[15]

Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius will become direct parts of the Netherlands as special municipalities of the Netherlands and are to be constituted as "public bodies" (Dutch: openbare lichamen) under the Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands. These municipalities will resemble ordinary Dutch municipalities in most ways (they will have mayors, aldermen, and municipal councils, for example) and will have to introduce most laws of the Netherlands. As a transitional measure, only Dutch law that is considered to be necessary to function within the legal system of the Netherlands will be introduced, and most current laws of the Netherlands Antilles will still be in force on the three islands when they join the Netherlands on 10 October 2010. After that date, Dutch legislation will slowly take the place of the current laws of the Netherlands Antilles on those three islands. There are, however, some derogations for these islands, due to their distance. Social security, for example, will not be on the same level as it is in the Netherlands, and it is not certain whether the islands will be obliged to introduce the euro.[16][17]

The special municipalities will be represented in the affairs of the Kingdom by the Netherlands, as they can vote for the Dutch parliament. As the current Dutch voting law specifies that the Senate is to be chosen by the provinces, and the three islands currently are not to be included in a province, it is as yet unsure how they are to elect members in the First Chamber. The Dutch government has, however, guaranteed that the people on the islands will be able to elect members of the First Chamber, and is considering options for this.[16][17]

For Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius, the Netherlands has proposed that a study be conducted on the islands acquiring the status of Outermost Regions (OMR), also called Ultra Peripheral Regions (UPR). The study would also look into how the islands would fare under UPR status.[16]

Statistics

Statistics for the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Country Population
(2009)
Percentage of
Kingdom population
Area
(km²)
Percentage of
Kingdom area
Population density
(inh. per km²)
Flag of the Netherlands Kingdom of the Netherlands 16,803,390 100.00% 42,519 100.00% 392
-  Aruba 106,050 0.63% 193 0.45% 538
-  Netherlands 16,500,156 98.20% 41,526 97.66% 394
-  Netherlands Antilles 197,184 1.17% 800 1.88% 240
 Bonaire 12,103 0.07% 288 0.68% 40
 Curaçao 140,796 0.84% 444 1.04% 309
 Saba 1,524 0.01% 13 0.03% 115
 Sint Eustatius 2,754 0.02% 21 0.05% 129
 Sint Maarten 40,007 0.24% 34 0.08% 1,146

Source Aruba: Central Bureau of Statistics
Source Netherlands: Central Bureau of Statistics
Source Netherlands Antilles: Central Bureau of Statistics - population and area

Distinction between the Netherlands and the Kingdom

Outside the Kingdom of the Netherlands, "Netherlands" is used as the English short-form name to describe the Kingdom of the Netherlands. At the United Nations, for example, the Kingdom is identified in the General Assembly by its English short-form name "Netherlands", whereas the English long-form name "Kingdom of the Netherlands" may be used in place of the name "Netherlands" in formal UN documentation. International treaties, also, frequently shorten "Kingdom of the Netherlands" to "Netherlands." The Dutch name that is commonly used is Nederland, which is a singular form, whereas both the official Dutch name Koninkrijk der Nederlanden and the English "(Kingdom of the) Netherlands" is a plural form. In Dutch practice, however, "Kingdom of the Netherlands" is shortened to "Kingdom" and not to "Netherlands", as the latter name could be confused with the Kingdom's principal country rather than with the Kingdom in its Charter capacity.[18] The Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands also shortens "Kingdom of the Netherlands" to "Kingdom" rather than to "Netherlands".[4]

Apart from the fact that referring to the Kingdom of the Netherlands as the "Netherlands" can be confusing, the term "Kingdom" is also used to prevent any feelings of ill will that could be associated with the use of the term "Netherlands." The use of the term "Netherlands" for the Kingdom as a whole might imply that Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles are not equal to the Kingdom's country in Europe and that those two countries have no say in affairs pertaining to the Kingdom but are, instead, subordinate to the European country. Though the influence of Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles in Kingdom affairs is limited, that influence most certainly exists. Using the term "Netherlands" to refer to the Kingdom, therefore, could be perceived as failing to recognise that influence, however limited it may be.[citation needed] This would also be parallel to the use of "United Kingdom" to refer to the entity otherwise commonly known as Britain.

Talking about the negotiation tactics of then Minister for Kingdom Affairs Alexander Pechtold, ChristenUnie leader and current Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands André Rouvoet illustrated the sensitivity in this matter by remarking in the House of Representatives that "[...] the old reproof that constantly characterised the relationship between the Netherlands and the Antilles immediately surfaced again. The Netherlands identifies the Kingdom with the Netherlands and dictates. The Netherlands Antilles can either give in or be ruled upon."[19] In addition, the Werkgroep Bestuurlijke en Financiële Verhoudingen Nederlandse Antillen—the commission that explored the current constitutional reform of the Kingdom—recommended that the "identification of the Netherlands with the Kingdom needs to be eliminated".[20] The Council of State of the Kingdom joins the commission in this by remarking that the Kingdom of the Netherlands has no telephone number, no budget and that the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom usually meets very briefly with a summary agenda.[21] To counter this habit, the Council of State has suggested that with the pending constitutional reform in the Kingdom, a Secretariat for the Kingdom will be instituted that prepares the agenda for the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom and guards the enforcement of decisions of the Council.

Geography

The Kingdom of the Netherlands covers 42,519 square kilometres (16,417 sq mi), making it the 134th largest country on earth. The Kingdom of the Netherlands has land borders with Belgium, Germany (both in the Netherlands), and France (on Sint Maarten).

About one quarter of the Netherlands lies below sea level, as much land has been reclaimed from the sea. Dikes were erected to protect the land from flooding. Currently the highest point of the Netherlands is the Vaalserberg in Limburg at only 322.7 metres (1,053 ft), but with the pending constitutional reform this is going to change as Saba will become part of the Netherlands as a special municipality, and its Mount Scenery (877 metres (2,877 ft)) will take the place of the Vaalserberg.

The Netherlands Antilles consist of two zones with different geographic origins. The Windward Islands (Saba, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten) are all of volcanic origin and hilly, leaving little ground suitable for agriculture. The Leeward Islands (Bonaire and Curaçao) have a mixed volcanic and coral origin. The said Mount Scenery is currently the highest point of the Netherlands Antilles.

Both Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles have a tropical climate, with warm weather all year round. The Windward Islands are subject to hurricanes in the summer months. The Netherlands has a moderate maritime climate, with cool summers and mild winters.

Countries

Map of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. All territories are in the same scale.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands currently consists of three countries:

Aruba

Aruba is a centralised unitary state. Its administration consists of the Governor, who represents the Monarch, and the (Aruban) Council of Ministers, headed by a Prime Minister. The people are represented in the Estates of Aruba. The current Governor of Aruba is Fredis Refunjol, and the current Prime Minister is Mike Eman. It has the Aruban florin as its currency.

Netherlands

The Netherlands is a representative parliamentary democracy organized as a unitary state. Its administration consists of the Monarch and the Council of Ministers, which is headed by a Prime Minister. The people are represented by the States-General of the Netherlands, which consists of a House of Representatives and a Senate. The Netherlands is divided into 12 provinces: Drenthe, Flevoland, Friesland, Gelderland, Groningen, Limburg, Noord-Brabant, Noord-Holland, Overijssel, Utrecht, Zeeland and Zuid-Holland. The provinces are divided into municipalities. The current Prime Minister of the Netherlands is Jan Peter Balkenende. It has the euro as its currency.

Netherlands Antilles

The Netherlands Antilles is a decentralized unitary state, with federal characteristics. Its administration consists of the Governor, who represents the Monarch, and the (Netherlands Antillean) Council of Ministers, headed by a Prime Minister. The people are represented by the Estates of the Netherlands Antilles. The Netherlands Antilles is composed of five insular territories: Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten. The current Governor of the Netherlands Antilles is Frits Goedgedrag, and the current Prime Minister is Emily de Jongh-Elhage. It has the Netherlands Antillean guilder as its currency. It is scheduled to be dissolved on 10 October 2010, with Sint Maarten and Curaçao becoming countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius becoming integrated with the Netherlands.

Transport

See also:

See also

Comparisons

Similar:

Different:

References

  1. ^ a b Peter Meel, Tussen autonomie en onafhankelijkheid. Nederlands-Surinaamse betrekkingen 1954-1961 (Between Autonomy and Independence. Dutch-Surinamese Relations 1954-1961; Leiden: KITLV 1999).
  2. ^ Gert Oostindie, De parels en de kroon. Het koningshuis en de koloniën (The Pearls and the Crown. The Royal House and the Colonies; Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 2006).
  3. ^ Gert Oostindie and Inge Klinkers, Knellende Koninkrijksbanden. Het Nederlandse dekolonisatiebeleid in de Caraïben, 1940-2000, II, 1954-1975 (Stringent Kingdom Ties. The Dutch De-colonisation Policy in the Caribbean; Amsterdam: University Press 2001).
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands
  5. ^ a b "Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles: Political relations within the Kingdom of the Netherlands". Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties. http://www.minbzk.nl/bzk2006uk/subjects/aruba-and-the. Retrieved 2007-10-13. 
  6. ^ Nationaal Archief - [1], page 12
  7. ^ RNW - Onderraad voor Koninkrijksrelaties
  8. ^ a b c d e f H.G. Hoogers (2008) "De landen en het Koninkrijk", in Schurende rechtsordes: over juridische implicates van de UPG-status voor de eilandgebieden van de Nederlandse Antillen en Aruba, Groningen: Faculteit rechtsgeleerdheid van de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, pp. 119-124. This study was mandated by the Dutch State Secretary for Kingdom Relations and was used for government policy.
  9. ^ In Dutch: Cassatieregeling voor de Nederlandse Antillen en Aruba, text available here
  10. ^ "De in het statuut neergelegde staatsvorm heeft een uniek karakter en is moeilijk in een bepaalde categorie onder te brengen [...] Veelal wordt dan ook geconcludeerd dat het Koninkrijk niet van een duidelijke classificate kan worden voorzien. Gesproken wordt van een quasi-, dan wel pseudo-federatie of van een constructie sui generis", in: C. Borman (2005) Het Statuut voor het Koninkrijk, Deventer: Kluwer, pp. 23-24.
  11. ^ "Een poging om de structuur van het Koninkrijk samen te vatten leidt tot de volgende omschrijving: een vrijwillig samengaan van autonome landen in een boven die landen geplaatst soeverein Koninkrijk, waarbij de organen van het Koninkrijk grotendeels samenvallen met die van het grootste land, op het niveau van het Koninkrijk slechts enkele taken worden verricht en vanwege het Koninkrijk een beperkte invloed kan worden uitgeoefend op het autonome bestuur in de kleinere landen", in: C. Borman (2005) Het Statuut voor het Koninkrijk, Deventer: Kluwer, p. 24.
  12. ^ "associatie van landen die trekken heeft van een federatie (Bondsstaat), maar wel een eigensoortige", in: C.A.J.M. Kortmann (2005) Constitutioneel recht, Deventer, p. 107.
  13. ^ A.D. Belinfante, J.L. De Reede (2002) Beginselen van het Nederlandse Staatsrecht, Deventer, p. 315.
  14. ^ "Agreement on division of Netherlands Antilles". Government.nl. 2007-02-13. http://www.government.nl/actueel/nieuwsarchief/2007/02February/13/0-42-1_42-92711.jsp. Retrieved 2007-02-24. 
  15. ^ Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (2005-11-28). "Official start of constitutional reform for Netherlands Antilles". http://www.minbzk.nl/uk/aruba_and_the/press_releases/official_start_of. Retrieved 2006-10-21. 
  16. ^ a b c The Daily Herald (2006-10-12). "St. Eustatius, Saba, Bonaire and The Hague Reach Historic Agreement". http://www.caribbeanpressreleases.com/articles/636/1/St-Eustatius-Saba-Bonaire-and-The-Hague-Reach-Historic-Agreement/More-talks-with-Curacao-and-St-Maarten.html. Retrieved 2006-10-21. 
  17. ^ a b Radio Netherlands (2006-10-12). "Caribbean islands become Dutch municipalities". http://www.radionetherlands.nl/currentaffairs/ant061012mc. Retrieved 2006-10-21. 
  18. ^ Examples of this practice can be found in all government documents and in nearly all press reports on Kingdom affairs, as well as in institutions that are related to the Kingdom of the Netherlands: Raad van Ministers van het Koninkrijk ("Council of Ministers of the Kingdom"), Ministerie van Binnenlanse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties ("Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Affairs"), the Koninkrijksspelen ("Kingdom Games", the Dutch equivalent of the Commonwealth Games), etc.
  19. ^ André Rouvoet (2005-10-12). "Bijdrage debat Begroting Koninkrijksrelaties 2006" (in Dutch). ChristenUnie.nl. http://www.christenunie.nl/nl/k/news/view/41358. Retrieved 2007-10-21. "Hoewel Minister De Grave er wat ons betreft meer vaart achter had mogen zetten, had hij onmiskenbaar de goede richting te pakken én, dat is in Koninkrijkszaken cruciaal, de goe-de toon. Zijn opvolger, Minister Pechtold, bleek die broodnodige prudentie te ontberen met als dieptepunt zijn brief van 24 augustus waarin hij staatkundige veranderingen afhankelijk maakte van financiële verbeteringen. Het oude verwijt dat steeds de relatie tussen Nederland en de Antillen heeft gekenmerkt, speelde onmiddellijk weer op. Nederland vereenzelvigt het Koninkrijk met Nederland en dicteert. De Nederlandse Antillen moeten slikken of stikken. Gevolg: ergernis in de West, verstoorde verhoudingen en verlies van momentum; geen frisse wind, maar meer een storm in de Caribische porseleinkast. Het zal allemaal wel te maken hebben met de behoefte van deze minister om te zeggen wat hij denkt en heilige huisjes niet te sparen, maar echt behulpzaam voor de verhoudingen in het Koninkrijk is het niet." 
  20. ^ Werkgroep Bestuurlijke en Financiële Verhoudingen Nederlandse Antillen (2004-10-08). "Nu kan het... nu moet het! Advies Werkgroep Bestuurlijke en Financiële Verhoudingen Nederlandse Antillen" (in Dutch) (PDF). pp. 37–38. http://www.minbzk.nl/contents/pages/10100/nukanhetnumoethet.pdf. Retrieved 2007-10-21. "Aanbevelingen Koninkrijk “Nieuwe Stijl”: [...] 7. De vereenzelviging van Nederland met het Koninkrijk wordt doorbroken." 
  21. ^ Raad van State van het Koninkrijk (2006-09-18). "Voorlichting overeenkomstig artikel 18, tweede lid, van de Wet op de Raad van State inzake de hervorming van de staatkundige verhoudingen van de Antilliaanse eilanden binnen het Koninkrijk" (in Dutch) (PDF). pp. 34–35. http://www.minbzk.nl/contents/pages/81294/bijlage_staatkundige_veranderingen.pdf. Retrieved 2007-10-21. "Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden heeft geen adres of telefoonnummer en al evenmin een eigen budget. Als het Koninkrijk wordt gebeld, krijgt men Nederland aan de lijn. De relaties binnen het Koninkrijk zijn vooral een dynamisch onderhandelingsproces. Een democratisch gelegitimeerd centrum ontbreekt. Het duidelijkst geldt dit voor de rijksministerraad, die gewoonlijk slechts zeer kortstondig beraadslaagt, met een zeer summiere agenda en met weinig discussie over de koers van het Koninkrijk als geheel. Voor de voorbereiding is de raad vrijwel geheel afhankelijk van (voorbereidend) overleg tussen vertegenwoordigers van de drie landsregeringen." 

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