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Dutch overseas territories

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Besides the European Netherlands, the Kingdom of the Netherlands consists of the three "countries" (Dutch: landen) of Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten, which have considerable autonomy, as well as the Caribbean Netherlands islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, which are special municipalities of the Netherlands proper.

All six islands are "overseas territories" with respect to the European Union. The Caribbean Netherlands will remain OCTs at least until 2015, after which a different status may be proposed.[15] The islands inherited this status from the Netherlands Antilles (Aruba in 1986 with its secession from the Netherlands Antilles, and Curaçao, Sint Maarten and the Caribbean Netherlands in 2010 with the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles.) The Netherlands Antilles were initially specifically excluded from all association with the EEC by reason of a protocol attached to the Treaty of Rome, allowing the Netherlands to ratify on behalf of the Netherlands (the European territory) and Netherlands New Guinea only, which it subsequently did.[16] Following the entry into force of the Convention on the association of the Netherlands Antilles with the European Economic Community on 1 October 1964, however, the Netherlands Antilles were counted as overseas territories. The inhabitants of the islands are EU citizens owing to their Dutch citizenship, but most of them were not, until recently, entitled to vote in European Parliamentary Elections. Non-voting rights were ruled to be contrary to EU law by the European Court of Justice as Dutch citizens resident outside the EU, other than those resident in either the former Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, were entitled to vote in the Dutch elections to the European Parliament.[17]
Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, and Saba are listed as OCTs in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Aruba. Aruba is one of the four constituent countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands, along with the Netherlands, Curaçao and Sint Maarten.

Aruba

The citizens of these countries all share a single nationality: Dutch. Aruba has no administrative subdivisions, but, for census purposes, is divided into eight regions. Its capital is Oranjestad. Unlike much of the Caribbean region, Aruba has a dry climate and an arid, cactus-strewn landscape. This climate has helped tourism as visitors to the island can reliably expect warm, sunny weather. History[edit] Aruba's first inhabitants are thought to have been Caquetíos Amerinds from the Arawak tribe, who migrated there from Venezuela to escape attacks by the Caribs. Europeans first learned of Aruba following the explorations for Spain by Amerigo Vespucci and Alonso de Ojeda in the summer of 1499. Bonaire. Bonaire was part of the Netherlands Antilles until the country's dissolution on 10 October 2010,[5] when the island (including Klein Bonaire) became a special municipality within the country of the Netherlands.

Bonaire

History[edit] Original inhabitants[edit] European arrival[edit] Spanish period[edit] Dutch period[edit] The Dutch West India Company was founded in 1621. While Curaçao emerged as a center of the slave trade, Bonaire became a plantation of the Dutch West India Company. British period[edit] Emancipation[edit] From 1816 until 1868, Bonaire remained a government plantation. Allotment[edit] In 1867 the government sold most of the public lands, and in 1870 they sold the saltpans. World War II[edit]

Caribbean Netherlands. Although they are part of the Netherlands, these special municipalities will remain overseas territories[4] of the European Union at least until 2015.[5] Bonaire (including the islet of Klein Bonaire) is located east of Aruba and Curaçao, close to the coast of Venezuela.

Caribbean Netherlands

Sint Eustatius and Saba are located south of Sint Maarten and northwest of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Curaçao. Curaçao (/ˈkjʊərəsaʊ/ KEWR-ə-sow; Dutch: Curaçao;[5][6] Papiamentu: Kòrsou) is an island in the southern Caribbean Sea, off the Venezuelan coast, that forms part of the Dutch Caribbean.

Curaçao

The Country of Curaçao (Dutch: Land Curaçao;[7] Papiamento: Pais Kòrsou),[8] which includes the main island plus the small, uninhabited island of Klein Curaçao ("Little Curaçao"), is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It has a population of over 150,000 on an area of 444 km2 (171 sq mi) and its capital is Willemstad. Prior to 10 October 2010, when the Netherlands Antilles was dissolved, Curaçao was administered as the Island Territory of Curaçao[9] (Dutch: Eilandgebied Curaçao, Papiamentu: Teritorio Insular di Kòrsou), one of five island territories of the former Netherlands Antilles. Etymology[edit] Map from 1562 with Curaçao indicated as Qúracao.

On a map created by Hieronymus Cock in 1562 in Antwerp, the island was referred to as Qúracao.[11] History[edit] Map of Curaçao in 1836. Netherlands Antilles. The Netherlands Antilles (Dutch: Nederlandse Antillen [ˈneːdərˌlɑntsə ɑnˈtɪlə(n)] ( ), Papiamentu: Antia Hulandes[2]), also referred to informally as the Dutch Antilles,[3] was an autonomous Caribbean country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Although the country has now been dissolved, all of its constituent islands remain part of the kingdom under a different legal status and the term is still used to refer to these Dutch Caribbean islands. Saba. Saba, including the islet of Green Island, became a special municipality within the country of the Netherlands after the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles on 10 October 2010.[5] The island has a land area of 13 square kilometres (5.0 sq mi).

Saba

As of January 2013[update], the population was 1,991 inhabitants, with a population density of 150 inhabitants per square kilometre (390 /sq mi).[1] Its current towns and major settlements are The Bottom (the capital), Windwardside, Hell's Gate and St. Johns. Sint Eustatius. The island lies in the northern Leeward Islands portion of the West Indies, southeast of the Virgin Islands.

Sint Eustatius

Sint Eusatius is immediately to the northwest of Saint Kitts, and to the southeast of Saba. The regional capital is Oranjestad. The island has an area of 21 km² (8.1 sq. miles). In the 2001 census, the population was recorded as 3,543 inhabitants, with a population density of 169 inhabitants per square kilometre. The official languages are Dutch and English. Formerly part of the Netherlands Antilles, Sint Eustatius became a special municipality within the Kingdom of the Netherlands on 10 October 2010.[6] The name of the island "Sint Eustatius" is the Dutch name for Saint Eustice (also spelled Eustachius or Eustathius), a legendary Christian martyr known in Spanish as San Eustaquio and in Portuguese as Santo Eustáquio or Santo Eustácio.

Sint Maarten. Sint Maarten (Dutch pronunciation: [sɪnt ˈmaːrtə(n)]) is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Sint Maarten

It encompasses the southern half of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, while the northern half of the island constitutes the French overseas collectivity of Saint-Martin. Its capital is Philipsburg. Its population is 37,000 on 34km2. Before 10 October 2010, Sint Maarten was known as the Island Territory of Sint Maarten (Dutch: Eilandgebied Sint Maarten), and was one of five island territories (eilandgebieden) that constituted the Netherlands Antilles.

History[edit] In 1493, during Christopher Columbus' second voyage to the West Indies, upon first sighting the island he named it Isla de San Martín after Saint Martin of Tours because it was 11 November, St.