The World of Info



Since 10 October 2010, the municipalities of Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius have a separate status within the Netherlands. The three special municipalities have two levels of government and are governed as a public body by:

The Governor is assisted in this by an Advisory Council, which consists of at least five members appointed by him and advises on all draft state regulations, state laws, state decrees containing general measures and the like. The Governor is the chairman of this Council, but he exercises this function only on special occasions. A vice-president, appointed from among the members of the council, presides over the ordinary meetings.

In the Netherlands Antilles, the States represent the population. They are elected in general elections for four years. The Parliament of the Netherlands Antilles consists of 22 members (Curaçao 14, Bonaire 3, Sint Maarten 3 and Saba and Sint Eustatius 1 each). Together with the governor, they form the legislative power. The Parliament has the right of amendment, of inquiry and of interpellation. It also has the right of initiative. It must approve the national budget.

Each island territory has its own government, consisting of the island council, the executive board and the governor. The Island Councils of Curaçao (21 members), Bonaire (9 members), Sint Maarten (11 members), Saba (5 members) and Sint Eustatius (5 members) represent the population of the island territory. The members are elected for four years. The Executive Council and the Island Governor can be compared to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen in a Dutch municipality. The Executive Council forms the daily administration of the island territory and executes the decisions of the Island Council. For the current political situation see chapter history.


The economy of the Windward Islands is based on tourism and (financial) services. The Antillean economy is therefore strongly focused on foreign countries. It is largely dependent on imports. The Netherlands Antilles are not a member of the European Union, but they are associated with it. That offers a number of trade advantages. The Antillean currency was the Antillean guilder, but this was exchanged for the US dollar on 1 January 2001.

Saba lives from tourism, and since 1988 has had a medical school - SABA University School of Medicine - which attracts many students from the United States.



Derksen,G / Nederlandse Antillen en Aruba

Soesbergen, M. van / Bovenwindse eilanden

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info