D. Gibbs outlines his desire to create a United congress with Sint Maarten

During his general policy speech, Daniel Gibbs recalled to the Sint Maarten authorities his desire to cooperate better.

“Cooperation today lies solely on the goodwill of a handful of individuals. I do have a much higher idea of the cooperation that should exist between both sides of this island”, said Daniel Gibbs, a few minutes after he was elected President of the Collectivité, to the Sint Maarten* authorities that came to the ceremony for the installation of the new territorial Council last Sunday. “Our small island was built on a wise desire of shared destiny. With respect of our history and its servants, in my opinion, our cooperation deserves more than a hug and a shake hand in French Quarter on the 11th of November”, he admits. He then renewed his desire to create a “United congress.” What the Government of Sint Maarten apparently heard, since he took it over, in a press release in which he addressed its congratulations to the new president. However, he made no comment. Daniel Gibbs has already worked on this question of United congress or Congress of Saint-Martin as part of the parliamentary mission of information which had been driving in 2014 and which resulted in a report which he is co-author. He founded his determination on the fact that “the new status of the French and Dutch authorities gives a decisive opportunity to boost cooperation on the new basis of autonomy” * because this condition “offers the means to directly address a number of problems that France and the Netherlands have necessarily to deal with.” Also Daniel Gibbs had suggested “the creation of a body of integrated management that could provide the framework for a joint exercise of skills of the Collectivité of Saint-Martin and Sint Maarten, including France and the Netherlands, in their areas of expertise” *. It's what he calls the Congress of Saint-Martin or the French United Congress and Dutch Saint-Martin in English. He stated that “this organization would run as an authority with resources, providing a number of missions as well as the implementation of public policies or projects on behalf and under the responsibility of two communities and two States”. Daniel Gibbs had often issued this idea in ceremonies he attended as a deputy. Last Sunday, in his capacity as Chairman of the Collectivité, he repeated it and he especially requested to Sint Maarten authorities to bring him, as soon as possible, “a positive response”.


* The Governor Eugene Holiday and his spouse, the President of Parliament Sarah Wescot Williams and the Prime Minister William Marlin and his spouse.

** Excerpts of the information report “Saint-Martin: beyond the status, shaping a future.”

Estelle Gasnet