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Curaçao: Country and Foreign Investment


Curaçao is a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, with full autonomy in internal affairs; it is a parliamentary democracy and is politically stable. The Netherlands government is responsible for defense and foreign affairs. The legal system is based on Dutch civil law but includes some influence from English common law. Appeals from the Curaçao courts are to the Netherlands Supreme Court in the Hague.

The Queen of the Netherlands is the Head of State. A federal or central government takes care of state matters, comprising a Governor appointed by the Queen for a period of six years, an appointed Council of Ministers, and an elected 22-member parliament (De Staten) which serves a term of four years. There are a number of small political parties.

A constitutional crisis erupted in 2004 due to irreconcilable differences between the constituent islands, and a joint Commission appointed by the Netherlands and the local government concluded that the jurisdiction should be broken up, with the islands of Curaçao and St Maarten becoming autonomous countries alongside the Netherlands and the Caribbean island of Aruba, whilst the remaining three islands - Saba, Bonaire and St. Eustatius - should be brought under the direct control of the Dutch government in The Hague.

In December, 2004, the Dutch cabinet approved this proposal, saying that the new constitutional arrangement must guarantee the quality of the judicial system, sound governance and responsible financial management.

In of working groups to discuss detailed implementation of the new constitutional proposals.

In January, 2006, representatives from the Dutch government, Aruba and the five islands of Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St Eustatius and St Maarten agreed a roadmap towards new constitutional relations at the latest Round Table Conference on constitutional affairs.

Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius have attained the new status of "specific nature" within the Kingdom and have direct ties with the Netherlands, while Curaçao and St. Maarten have country status within the Kingdom.

It was originally the aim of the agreement to dissolve the Netherlands Antilles by 15th December, 2008, but the final date was delayed by nearly two years to October 10, 2010.

A temporary government installed by the Netherlands in October 2012, was replaced by a new government of Curaçao from January 1, 2013.



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