Intervention in St Eustatius

A case study in the Accountability Audit of Kingdom Relations

For our 2022 Accountability Audit of Kingdom Relations we investigated whether the minister’s policy on the intervention in St Eustatia met applicable criteria. In our opinion, the policy pursued for the intervention on St Eustatius is worrying.  

Problems restoring local administration to St Eustatius

The State Secretary for Kingdom Relations intervened in St Eustatius in 2018 in response to the local administration’s neglect of duty. A Government Commissioner has since been working on improving the island’s public administration.

The state secretary initiated processes in 2022 for the phased restoration of local democracy. The long-term conditions for phased restoration were not sustainable at the end of 2022. We found that several statutory requirements for local democracy had not been fulfilled. St Eustatius is a small island with about 3,000 residents but it is responsible for an international airport and an international seaport. St Eustatius faces continuous capacity problems and it is open to question whether the European Netherlands makes sufficient allowance for the island’s small size.