NEWS   03-11-2020

Frisian National Party: include Frisian and Papiamento in the supreme law of the Kingdom

Now that in the beginning of next year there will be elections for the Dutch national parliament, some parties once again propose to enshrine Frisian into the Dutch Constitution. The Frisian National Party (FNP) finds it regrettable that the current coalition of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie decided to withdraw a similar legislative proposal two years ago. The party therefore calls upon the provincial government to start working on a different proposal, namely to enshrine the Frisian language in the Statute for the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Statute is the supreme law of the land, stands above the Dutch Constitution and can more easily be amended than the Constitution.

"Enshrining Frisian in Statute is easier" (Sijbe Knol on Frisian in the Dutch Constitution)

FNP proposes an alternative: Frisian in the Statute for the Kingdom

Two years ago, the current government Rutte III made an end to the expectations of the Frisian political establishment that Frisian would soon be enshrined in the Dutch Constitution. FNP noticed with regret that at the national level in The Hague, there was opposition from some parties against the legislative proposal. That is why the party proposes to choose another path and to enshrine Frisian in the Statute for the Kingdom of the Netherlands.


FNP-group leader Sijbe Knol: ‘The Statute is not well known, but it is the supreme law of our Kingdom and as a legal norm, it is higher than the Constitution. With an amendment to the Statute, we could enshrine both Frisian and the languages of the Antilles - Papiamento/u and English - in one go. That no arrangement was made for the latter, was a point of criticism about the proposed amendment to the Constitution from 2010. We urge our Frisian government to start working on our proposal and to establish contacts with the governments of Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten.'


The Statute for the Kingdom of the Netherlands was adopted in 1954 to make an end to the colonial past and to give the overseas territories an equal position in our Kingdom. A new, legally supreme arrangement was superimposed on the Dutch Constitution. The speakers of Frisian, but also the speakers of Papiamento/u and English in the islands deserve that their languages obtain a full-fledged status in the Statute.


In order to change the Constitution, a difficult procedure must be followed, with two readings in both chambers of the Dutch parliament and a two-third majority in the second reading. The procedure of the Statute is much less difficult: for an amendment to the Statute two simple majorities in the Dutch first and second chamber and ultimately three simple majorities in the parliaments of Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten suffice.


Long-held wish in Fryslân

In 2010 a legislative proposal was submitted to the Dutch parliament, as the government was of the opinion that there were reasons to amend the Constitution with a new article about the Frisian language. Before, politicians and government in the Province of Fryslân had unanimously expressed their view that the Frisian language must be enshrined in the Constitution.


Unfortunately, the current government Rutte withdrew the legislative proposal two years ago. The government held that there was no social need, nor was there sufficient ‘constitutional ripeness.' The Frisian National Party completely opposes that view and is convinced that most inhabitants of Fryslân do so as well. 

Schriftelijke vragen over fries in de grondwet en het statuut

Tags: polityk bestjoer, taal en kultuer


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