5.1.9 Language laws
In 1980, the Dutch Language Union [Nederlandse Taalunie] came into being. It implements an intergovernmental treaty between the Netherlands and the Flemish Community which aims to integrate the Dutch and Flemish community as far as the Dutch language is concerned (see also chapter 4.2.5). Since 2004, Surinam (former colony, independent since 1975) is an associated member of the Dutch Language Union. The Netherlands, Belgian Flanders and Surinam are working together on linguistic issues, language policy, language reading and literature. Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles (in the Caribbean) make up, together with the Netherlands, the Kingdom of the Netherlands; nevertheless the treaty only applies to the Netherlands. Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles can join if and whenever they wish to. In 2006, the Minister of Culture and Education of the Netherlands Antilles requested to apply the treaty to the Netherlands Antilles as well. In 2007 an agreement was signed, mentioning possible subjects for future cooperation.
On the basis of the Language Union treaty, the official spelling is determined by a Committee of Ministers. De Spelling Act [Spellingwet], 2006) refers directly to this treaty.
Frisian is one of the official languages of the Netherlands that is used in budget planning exercises, in the National Education Examination Programme and in official parliamentary reports (see also chapter 4.2.4 and chapter 4.2.5).