SP International

Wisdom disappears in the back rooms of compromise and game-playing

21 Oct 2014 
Dennis de Jong in conversation with Alex Brenninkmeijer
additional text by Claire Jansen

 

Dr Alex Brenninkmeijer, formerly the Netherlands’ national ombudsman has since 1 January 2014 been the Dutch member of the European Court of Auditors. Brenninkmeijer is a big supporter of more transparency within the EU and its institutions, a subject on which he spoke recently at a meeting organised by the SP’s European Parliament group. That is why the SP enthusiastically supported both his candidature for the office of European Ombudsman and his candidature for the European Court of Auditors. The latter was successful, and SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong spoke with Brenninkmeijer about the accountability of European Union finances just after his appointment to the Court of Auditors. That this accountability must be improved and above all be made clearer was a conclusion they both shared. Below is a report of their dialogue.

› Read more

Juncker to clip wings of Transatlantic Treaty

18 Oct 2014President-elect of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker wants to see the controversial dispute resolution system ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) eliminated from the free trade treaty between the US and the EU currently being negotiated, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. His views were discovered by Dutch journalist Caroline de Gruyter of leading daily paper NRC when she spoke with him last Wednesday, when Juncker also said that he was looking to win back the public’s confidence. The SP has a few questions.

› Read more

SP: limit must be put on MEPs’ extra earnings

14 Oct 2014The anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI) today launched ‘EU Integrity Watch’, a database giving details about the moonlighting jobs held by Euro-MPs. Commenting on the initiative, one of SP’s own MEPs, Dennis de Jong, said ‘A few years ago I contributed to the writing of the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament. With this we wanted to put an end to all forms of corruption and shady practices by Euro-MPs and in particular to prevent conflicts of interest. TI’s overview shows that Euro-MPs, over and above their more than ample salaries and expenses, moonlight for thousands of euros per month. I want as quickly as possible an end to be put to this by the imposition of a limit on such earnings. In addition, when reports are allocated to Members we need to take a much closer look at where they are getting their additional earnings. MEPs should not be writing reports on subjects in which as a result of their sidelines they have a personal interest.’

› Read more

Fresh approach needed to economic crisis and international chaos

14 Oct 2014According to Tiny Kox, leader of the SP group in the Senate, a different approach is needed to the economic crisis and to international chaos, including from the Dutch government. The Senate is at the moment debating the budget for 2015 with the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, who will shortly be taking up his post as a European Commissioner. The SP’s position is that it does not want to bear any responsibility for the plans as laid down. ‘The slogan of the plans is “out of the shadow of the crisis” but as so many Netherlands are left out in the cold, that is in our view not going to happen,’ says Kox. ‘This budget is a missed chance for a better future for everyone.’

› Read more

Bosnian mistrust of democratic institutions a threat to stability

14 Oct 2014'Last Sunday Bosnia elected three presidents and the country’s parliament, two regional parliaments and a new president of Republika Serbska, which together with the Bosnian-Croatian Federation forms the State of Bosnia,’ says Senator Kox. ‘These elections in no sense led to any enthusiasm amongst the population. Half of them stayed at home, while the other half voted without any belief in change occurring as a result. Faith in democratic institutions has largely disappeared. That’s dangerous.’

› Read more

Van Dijk: ‘The TTIP will make US and EU one and the same’

11 Oct 2014Today a broad coalition of social organisations and political parties demonstrated against the Transatlantic trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the trade agreement with the United States that will destroy social standards and democratic rights. SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk addressed demonstrators assembled in the Beursplein in Amsterdam. Below is an abbreviated version of his speech.

› Read more

The Civil War in Ukraine and the Failure of International Politics

11 Oct 2014In the course of 2014 a civil war has broken out in Ukraine, a war which has led, in addition to three thousands deaths, six thousand woundings and a million refugees, to a situation in which relations between Russia on the one side and the European Union and United States on the other are on a knife edge. Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall the two blocks once again face each other as opponents across a political, economic and military divide, with Europe running into danger. SP Senator Tiny Kox, active in the Council of Europe, was witness to part of this and reports below.

› Read more

Bloodbath in Kobani must be prevented

10 Oct 2014SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel is calling on Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans to put immediate pressure on Turkey to offer inhabitants of the Syrian border town of Kobani an escape route. According to United Nations special envoy Staffan de Mistura, Kobani is ‘surrounded’ by ISIS with only one limited passage in or out. Van Bommel believes that Turkey should be doing everything it can to enable civilians from Kobani to flee. De Mistura is asking Turkey to allow volunteers through so that they can help with the defence of the town. Otherwise, the UN fears, there will be a bloodbath.

› Read more

SP Senator Kox: ‘A hundred years after the First World War: no new war in Europe!’

3 Oct 2014‘I want us now to do everything we can to maintain the cease-fire in Ukraine. Our message to Russia, America and the European Union must be: don’t any longer provoke conflicts in Europe, but try to avoid them or stop them.’ This was the call from SP Senator Tiny Kox as the Ukraine ceasefire began to look shaky. Kox issued his call from the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe, of which Russia and Ukraine, in common with all other European countries, are members.

› Read more

Pages

About the SP

Using the menu in the left-bar, you can get to know the SP, its history, activities, representatives and publications. You’ll also find a selection of SP news and the weekly blog by MEP Dennis de Jong.