Talk:Caribbean Netherlands

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name choice?[edit]

Just noticed the page move to Caribbean Netherlands. In principle I have no problem with this and I think only in 1-2 years a stable common usage will have established that we can use stably. However, I had never heard of it until here (what was the national office that used it; and how does it translate in Dutch?), but had heard the acronym BES islands quite a lot; (also in names of laws: WOLBES etc). Could someone evaluate what the usage is of caribbean netherlands so we can see what fits best under WP:common name? L.tak (talk) 17:14, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

I moved the page to remain consistant with the Dutch language wikipedia page "Caribisch Nederland" ( which also uses the name BES-eilanden in the text.

The Dutch Government body that administers the islands is known as "Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland" ( which Google toolbar translated as "National Government of the Dutch caribbean" and is listed as the "Dutch National Office for the Caribbean Netherlands" in the external links section.

If this new name does not meet WP:common name requirements, then I could move it back to "BES islands" or to "Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba" until a common name can be established. Dn9ahx (talk) 19:06, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps I did jump-the-gun a little here, I will move it back until to "BES islands" until a common name can be established. Dn9ahx (talk) 19:19, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

The Dutch Wikipedia rename is quite controversial. Somebody moved it to Caribisch Nederland, only because the Region Service Centres established by the Dutch government on the BES islands were renamed Rijksdient Caribisch Nederland (National Office for the Caribbean Netherlands). Meanwhile BES is the term used by the government and in all acts of parliament. Fentener van Vlissingen (talk) 19:32, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
The common name practice is also something which is not considered a rule on dutch wikipedia (didn't even manage to get ethyn moved to acetylene, despite the massively higher use of the latter...), but is much stronger here. I think the move back for now is good. Let's reevaluate in -say- a month from now to see what the common usage is becoming (and jumping the gun on antilles related subjects was happening much more here today ;-) ).... L.tak (talk) 20:02, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

The Central Bureau of Statistics now calls the BES islands Caribbean Netherlands as well, see here and here. Fentener van Vlissingen (talk) 15:04, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Leaving it the same for now, we can wait and see if over the next week things start to move towards a Caribbean Netherlands name, otherwise me should hold fast and keep the status quo. Outback the koala (talk) 19:57, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

The name "Caribisch Nederland" is used on new postage stamps issued on the islands - - - the new stamps depict maps of all 3 islands, the coat of arms of the netherlands and an image of the queen. Dn9ahx (talk) 13:08, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

Per Koala's comments, I think we have enough evidence to establish Caribisch Nederland as the oficial collective name for the 3 islands. BES-eilanden appeqars to have been a temporay name at best, and an informal short-term at that. At this point, do we have any published evidence that the English term "BES islands" is continuing to be the common term? A quick Google search on the terms in quotes gives about 37,000 hits for CN, and about 10,000 for BESI, which appears to support "Caribbean Netherlands" as the common term now. Given that, I see no reason not to go ahead and move the article to "Caribbean Netherlands" at this time. If we have no objectons at this tme, I think we could move it now, but if there are objections, we can hood a formal move discussion. - BilCat (talk) 19:30, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
While I have nothing against moving to Caribbean Netherlands, I must say that BES is not at all an informal term. It's the term used in Acts of Parliaments actually: [1]. Fentener van Vlissingen (talk) 19:56, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict)::Well, it seems indeed that the government is using Caribisch Nederland and that others are following. An official term seems non-existent in order to emphasize the direct relationship with the government (rather than having again an organizational level between the individual islands and the the dutch government), so I would be ok with a move. Note however that the term BES-islanden is more than solely informal (just search for it at the not-so-informal and should be kept as long as it is used as a suffix to laws in the caribbean netherlands. L.tak (talk) 19:57, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, my mistake - it's not an informal term. I had originally wrote "An informal term at worst", but inadvertantly changed it in editing before posting it. L, if you mean keeping the term "BES islands" in the article, then yes, we'll list it as an alternate name in the Lead sentence, as per standard practice. - BilCat (talk)
BilCat, that's indeed what I meant (and mentioned just to be sure ;-) )... L.tak (talk) 06:21, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Sorry, but it wasn't that clear to me, which is why I asked. (Not placing blame.) Anyway, would ad hoc be a more apt description? - BilCat (talk) 06:33, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
No problem; I was not very clear anyway I think.... As for the most apt description: I think it is stated correctly for now. Time will tell if BES islands it will be regarded the ad hoc description or the judicial description or something else... L.tak (talk) 12:48, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Given that we don't appear to have any real objections, and since 'Caribbean Netherlands' is used on postage stamps and is much clearer in meaning to the naive reader and therefore IMO an objectively better title aside from CommonName, I'll move back to 'Caribbean Netherlands', but won't object if s.o. reverts the move as premature. — kwami (talk) 23:31, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

From the point of view of the other islands that formed part of the Netherlands Antilles the BES is the preferred choice of name for page for the collectivity of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. The term "Dutch Caribbean" is widely used in practice to refer to the collectivity of islands that previously formed the Netherlands Antilles, including Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten. 30 May 2012 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:45, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Low importance?[edit]

How come this article is deemed to have low importance for the Wikiproject Caribbean? That seems odd, as countries within the Kingdom are given top priority (cf. Talk:Aruba). I wouldn't say this article should have top priority, but somewhere in between low and top would be better I guess. Fentener van Vlissingen (talk) 20:11, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

Category change[edit]

I have now nominated the category:BES islands for rename to category:Caribbean Netherlands. The vote takes place at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2010 October 18. L.tak (talk) 12:45, 18 October 2010 (UTC)


I see that the administration of the 3 islands is being handled by the "The National Office for the Caribbean Netherlands". Was there ever any discussion about the 3 islands collectively becoming a province of the Netherlands, equal to the other provinces? It might be interenswting to add such info if it can be cited from reliable sources. Thanks. - BilCat (talk) 16:51, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Yes, both Zeeland and North Holland offered to include the islands in their province, but I guess that was a mere publicity stunt. If I remember it correctly, the Council of State of the Kingdom already recommended not to put the islands in any province. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fentener van Vlissingen (talkcontribs)
I meant as a province of its own, as the 13th province, composed only of the 3 islands. Was this ever discussed? Is the region not eligible for provincehood because of the low population, or are there other qualifications/reasons? - BilCat (talk) 17:17, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
It would be the smallest province by far, and the islands don't have that much in common, apart from being a part of the Caribbean. The tasks of a province are divided between the island councils, and the national government. The island councils will also be eligible to vote for the Dutch Senate, like all provincial parliaments, once the Dutch Constitution is changed. Freako (talk) 11:46, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
There is no reason at all to institute another level of administration for the three islands as a whole. Dutch provinces are already quite controversial (there's regular talk about abolishing them or merging a few of them) as the most prominent tasks of provinces are maintaining the provincial road network and execute spacial planning. There's no need for a provincial authority managing the roads of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba I guess, and probably spatial planning is best handled by the islands as well. Financial supervision of municipalities (a task of the province) is better handled by the central government in the case of the BES islands. Fentener van Vlissingen (talk) 13:22, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, that whatg i wanted to know. Is there a source that we can summarize such information from, and add to the article? - BilCat (talk) 16:27, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

openbaar lichaam = ??? in English?[edit]

To avoid a revert war, a discussion what the islands are in a governmenal perspective... As far as I can see, the dutch administrative divisions are arranged in the Grondwet. The grondwet has a chapter "provincies, gemeenten, waterschappen en andere openbare lichamen". After defining the first three, it defines a "openbaar lichaam". The law constituting Bonaire, Saba and Statia (IBES) defines them as "openbare lichaam" within that context. They are thus not a municipality. However, many tasks normal residing with a municipality are performed. Therefore they are often (but NOT in legal terms) referred to as "special municipalities" (e.g. ministry of foreign affairs. That part seems (to me at least) not very ambiguous. The point is the translation. A "openbaar lichaam" was translated as public body, but according to BHL not correct. The Dutch Bank however translates to public bodies. So the relevant questions for this wiki are: what should the translation be? and why is public body not correct? Do we have anywhere formal translations? L.tak (talk) 08:59, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

public realm —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:29, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

ISO name[edit]

I've been a bit reverty on this one, so I feel the need to explain myself.

In ISO 3166-1, "Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba" is defined as this territory's preferred name. This is a fairly influential place to be defined, and we can be certain now that whenever the jurisdiction that this article refers to crops up in a UN almanac or any number of hundreds of other locations that take their lead from ISO, it will be under that name rather than "Carribbean Netherlands" or any of the other namespaces that this article has hopped around since its creation.

Now, Wikipedia naming rules are not magically subservient to ISO dictat and there are handful of places where we do have differences... For instance, there's the eternal East Timor/Timor-Leste and Ivory Coast/Côte d'Ivoire kerfuffles and the case of that country run by rather unsavoury folks between Thailand and India. Wikipedia's MoS gallantly defends São Tomé and Príncipe's ISO-amputated diacritics, for one example I'm perfectly supportive of.

"Caribbean Netherlands" is indeed in official use in some corners, and potentially entering popular use. But ISO's names do emerge from governmental consultation, too, and there evidently was some reason offered by someone at some level that led to the assigning of this article's subject matter under "Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba" rather than "Caribbean Netherlands".

In the case of this article, I think a move to Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba would be premature at this point. But surely it merits billing in the lead as an alternate officialish name, no? The Tom (talk) 02:48, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

The problem is though, that the Caribbean Netherlands is not a territory per se. It's a grouping together of three individual territories, namely Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba, that have a lot of similarities because they are all three Caribbean territories of the Netherlands. There is no layer of government at the Caribbean Netherlands level. Fentener van Vlissingen (talk) 12:18, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
Oh, agreed... I was using "territory" in the "defined area of dirt" sense rather than the "jurisdiction with a single administration" sense.  :) The Tom (talk) 22:02, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I know, but the problem is rather that since they three separate jurisdictions, they are enumerated in ISO 3166-1 as "Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba". But that does not mean "Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba" should necessarily be the name of the article, if another name to refer to this collection of islands is more common. Fentener van Vlissingen (talk) 07:38, 17 January 2011 (UTC)


I think the infbox makes confusion here, because the infobox "country" is used. This is not correct, because Caribean Netherlands is not a country, province or colony of the Netherlands. Caribean Netherlands is just a collective term for three Dutch municipalities in the Caribean area. Like "Northern Netherlands" is the collective term for the three Dutch provinces Groningen, Fryslân and Drenthe. The term is only used so make a difference between European Netherlands and Caribean Netherlands. For example: the CBS (Statistics Netherlands) uses this terms to show the differences between the European and Caribean part of the Netherlands. The term "Caribean Netherlands" is not used in the Dutch law, therefore is BES-islands used, because the three islands were (while the laws were passing the Dutch parliament) still part of the Dutch Antilles (this was an independence of "the Netherlands" (Nederland), but a part of the Kingdom. The Dutch parliament couldn't talk about "Caribean Netherlands", because of the reason they did not exist at those times.

But, back to the relationship of Infobox and name, the Caribean Netherlands is not an official area. It's only used as a fifth wind direction (windstreek): the Netherlands has five "regions": Nothern-, Eastern-, Southern-, Western- and Caribean Netherlands, but they have no offical status. For these regions there are only (sometimes) some support of the gouvernment: like the Langmangelden (money of Langman) for the Northern Netherlands and the Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland (National Office for the Caribbean Netherlands) to support the three municipalities in the intergrating proces in the Netherlands.

So, the infobox has to be deleted., I think. Sorry for my bad English... :) --I90Christian (talk) 14:16, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Are you objecting to the content of the infobox, or merely to its name? It's quite possible the infobox was used because it was the best one avaliable to present the needed information. Since nothing in the output calls the "Caribbean Netherlands" a country, so it really doesn't matter as far as the output of the infobox is concerned. If anothe rinfobox can be subtituted that can present the same information, then fine, but simply deleting the whole infobox because of its name is probably not necessary, as most readers won't be looking at the coding. - BilCat (talk) 14:35, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
@I90Christian: What you say is largely true of course. However, since all BES legislation applies equally to the three islands (there are no Dutch laws that only apply to one of the three islands), since there is only one National Representative for all three islands, since these three islands all use the US dollar, and since they have a common ISO code, I think you can de facto speak of a layer of government for the three islands as a whole. The administrator of this layer of government is the government of the Netherlands. I think that therefore the country infobox is the one we should use here, as we otherwise would not be able to give vital information about the currency, the National Representative, the ISO code, probably in the future the ccTLD, etc. Fentener van Vlissingen (talk) 14:39, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

"Dutch Caribbean" redirect[edit]

The article Dutch Caribbean currently redirects to this article, which (following the 10/10/10 constitutional changes) discusses the three "BES islands." However, in general and based on my understanding and review of sources, the term "Dutch Caribbean" refers to all the Caribbean islands within the Kingdom of the Netherlands—that is, it includes Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Martin in addition to Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius. Can editors with greater subject-matter expertise opine on whether this redirect should be reconsidered? Thanks, Newyorkbrad (talk) 02:42, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

I think you're right about this since anything related to the Kingdom of the Netherlands is also referred to as 'Dutch', not just the things related to the Netherlands. Unless there is or will be an article about all the Caribbean islands of the Kingdom (which I don't think there is right now), it's my opinion that the redirect page should be deleted (but I'm not an expert). Styath (talk) 01:20, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
To have a (short) article about all the islands I think is not a bad idea, so I created one at Dutch Caribbean. Styath (talk) 21:50, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

CNL not part of the EU[edit]

I'm placing a Template:Citation needed to the part where it says that the BES-islands are not part of the EU. The inhabitants of the BES-islands were allowed to vote for the European parliament during the EU elections of 2014 and with a bit of Googling around, I do see several websites stating that the BES-islands have the status of "overseas territories" but not that this means that the BES-islands are not part of the European Union. In fact, the BBC specifically states that in fact they are part of the EU. I do know they are not part of Schengen, but I'm confused about their actual status and would like to see some clarification. PPP (talk) 20:50, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

Their status is explained at the linked page in that sentence, Special member state territories and the European Union. They are not Outermost regions but rather, as you stated Overseas Territories (though this could change in the upcoming review), and thus are assotiated with, but not part of, the EU. The details of such status is covered at the linked page and cited back to "Council Decision 2013/755/EU", which is also linked at said page. I don't think we need it explained and cited at a second page (here), but perhaps that sentence could be clarified (perhaps by removing the whole ",and thus..." last bit?)
Cheers, Gecko G (talk) 23:09, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Well, it is explained in some detail in the paragraphs below and we don't need to cite or explain everything in the lede... If any further clarification is needed I think we should do it at that paragraph, but as far as I am concerned, the 2 sentences there cover it sufficiently... L.tak (talk) 22:11, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

Literally nothing about the population?[edit] (talk) 17:35, 13 May 2016 (UTC)

Islets surrounding the BES islands[edit]

A suggestion to place in brackets the main BES island associated with an Islet - and this is an easy one. E.g Kleine Bonaire (Bonaire) There appear to be many islets iin the BES islands it would be good to know to which of the 3 islands they pertain. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Browzman (talkcontribs) 12:43, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

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