Curacao and St. Maarten became new countries within the Dutch Kingdom per the 10th of October 2010. On that same date the Netherlands Antilles stopped existing and its dismantling took place on that same date. Meanwhile, other islands Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius became special municipalities of the Netherlands falling directly under the Dutch responsibility.

The trajectory to arrive at that historic point in time was a relatively long process. The process started with a referendum that took place on all 5 islands of the Netherlands Antilles. In this referendum held on April 8, 2005, the Citizens of Curacao were in favor of an autonomous position for Curacao in the Dutch Kingdom. One week after, on April 15th, 2005, the Island Council formally rectified the results of the referendum and stipulated that the realization and position of an autonomous Curacao should be minimally in an equal autonomous status as Aruba. St. Maarten voted in the year 2000, Bonaire and Saba in 2004 and finally St. Eustatius in 2006.

On the 21st of October, 2005, the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and the island territories of Curacao and St. Maarten came to an agreement that the country “Netherlands Antilles” would seize existing. During the Round Table Conference on November 6, 2005 concrete agreements were made on the dates, the criteria, constitutions, laws, norms, public entities and structures that the new countries should adhere to, taking into account the individual bylaws.

During a mini- conference 10-12 October 2006 the BES ( Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba) was formed for them to become special municipalities of the Netherlands

Final deliberations of the Kingdom were held on the 15th of December 2008 during the Round Table Conference and after more than a year, the new country Curacao was born on October 10th, 2010 in presence of the Royal Family as well as the Government of the former Netherlands Antilles and the new Government of Curacao.

The dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles was effected on 10 October 2010.Curaçao is now a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, with the Kingdom retaining responsibility for defense and foreign policy. The Kingdom will also oversee the island's finances under a debt-relief arrangement agreed on between the two.

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