The committee's recommendations for the liberalization of the restitution policy were intended as a temporary measure, closely connected to the fact that within the framework of the research undertaken since 1998 and the publicity this has attracted, new insight and data have emerged. The liberalized government policy offers legally entitled parties an opportunity to even now submit claims. The point of view now taken is in accordance with the newly acquired insight into what can be considered as fair dealings with the victims of war as also the factual information which has come to light on the manner in which works of art ended up in German hands during World War Two within the framework of the research. Publication of the research results, both in paper and digital form, and the publicity given to both those results and the policy's objectives have created a framework within which the potential legally entitled parties are provided with an optimum opportunity to exercise their rights. In order to guarantee the independence of the assessment of the claims in accordance with the now liberalized policy a temporary advisory committee was instituted.
The committee is of the opinion that after concluding its activities at the close of 2004 - i.e. after concluding the research carried out since 1998- and after the processing of the final recommendations into a point of view on all the recommendations made that is accepted by the government and parliament, a term of two years will be required to enable all the parties concerned to submit claims on the basis of the liberalized government policy. The duration of this term was motivated by the experience that information on government policy and factual information can require quite some time to reach the parties concerned and, moreover, that the personal circumstances of these parties can lead to a delay in responding. Although the committee has continually exerted itself over the past few years to achieve a maximum dissemination of information, and will continue to do so in the last few months of 2004, a term shorter than two years would be irresponsible. On the other hand, it does not seem useful to prolong the term in which claims can be submitted on the basis of the liberalized government policy, also considering the fact that the more time elapses the less time there is to take first and second-hand information concerning the loss of property during the war years into account.
Taking the former into consideration, the committee proposes to limit the term in which the opportunity exists to submit claims to two years after the government policy based on these final recommendations has been published in the Staatscourant. Naturally, all the claims submitted prior to the end of this term will then subsequently be examined.
The committee is of the opinion that it would be desirable to organize a second exhibition with regard to the NK collection in 2005, in emulation of the exhibition held in Leeuwarden in 2003. This could once again draw public attention to the research that has been carried out, to the many queries that have remained unanswered due to a lack of sources and to the opportunity as yet to submit claims.
A year before the term ends, the government is advised to widely publicize the impending lapse of the claim opportunity. To this end, use can be made of advertisements in Dutch newspapers, embassy channels and the aid of Jewish organisations and media both in the Netherlands and abroad.
The committee recommends the government to provide the opportunity to submit claims on works of art from the NK collection within a period of two years following publication in the Staatscourant of the government policy formulated on the basis of these final recommendations.
One year prior to the termination of the period in which claims may be submitted, the government should widely publicize the impending lapse of this opportunity.