Defence: Deputy Frantz Gumbs supports the France-Netherlands bill


This January 25 at the National Assembly, Frantz Gumbs, MODEM deputy for the 1st district of Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin, intervened in the context of the discussion of the bill aimed at authorizing the approval of the Franco-French agreement -Dutch signed on June 25, 2021, which deals with defense cooperation and the status of forces of the two countries in their Caribbean and South American territories.

By way of introduction, the MP said: “Allow me to take you on a little journey through time and space. On November 28, 1839, in Philipsburg, the Dutch part of Saint-Martin where I am from, a Franco-Dutch convention was signed. This convention refers to the treaty of partition of this island which was signed on March 23, 1648 in the name of the King of France and the Prince of Orange and the state of Holland as this country was called at that time. This sharing treaty organized at the same time the concept of resources common to both parties and of the free movement of people and goods, a kind of prefiguration of today's European Union”. Having then described the 350-year-old “good understanding” relationship between the two countries, the MP underlined that the cooperation agreement concerned is a continuation of this long tradition. “Until now the French and Dutch armed forces have conducted joint exercises in the Caribbean and South American territories without a permanent legal framework, this region of the world being excluded from the NATO convention governing the exchange of personnel between allies” . Indeed, only the European territories being concerned by the said convention, the legal framework of the bilateral defense relationship between France and the Netherlands had to be strengthened, steps have therefore been initiated with a view to concluding an applicable agreement. in the Caribbean. The deputy added during his speech: "I believe it is necessary here to indicate the importance of taking local populations into consideration through their representatives in order to avoid any ambiguity as to the reasons for the presence of soldiers passing through one of our islands". For the politician, the agreement examined in the National Assembly on January 25 bears a significant importance on the obvious interdependence of the territories and islands of the Caribbean, as well as the need for cooperation in the event of crisis or disaster. natural. The group led by Frantz Gumbs also welcomes the opening of dialogue towards the completion of a defense framework agreement in 2024, a principle reaffirmed during the visit to France by the Dutch Prime Minister in 2022. _Vx

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