European Parliament introduces certification for conflict minerals

21 May 2015The European Parliament is to introduce compulsory certification for the import of raw materials from war zones. This will mean that importers will be required to declare that the raw materials in question were mined in a responsible manner. The SP is delighted that the Parliament defied a fierce lobby and voted to approve a compulsory certification system.

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EU must not turn its back on Armenia

Foto: SP

15 May 2015This week SP parliamentary foreign affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel is in Armenia at the head of a Dutch delegation. Prior to the visit, he wrote the following piece about the relationship between the EU and Armenia, and the opportunities offered by the future. His article was published in an Armenian newspaper and is reproduced in translation below.

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European Migration Agenda unrealistic

13 May 2015The European Commission today presented the new European Migration Agenda. The SP’s European Parliament group is unimpressed, as group chair Dennis de Jong explains.

‘Just beyond the EU’s external frontiers the world is in flames. Every day, people have to be rescued from the Mediterranean Sea. The Commission is still using for this task border guard services whose personnel are specially trained to keep people out. The Commission has, moreover, produced no solution to the problems refugees, and this European Migration Agenda (EMA) is once again contradictory: restrictive when it comes to people in need, and an open immigration policy for the well-educated. This will only increase the number of migrants heading towards Europe.´

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New Shift to the Right in Israel

12 May 2015Is international pressure the last chance for a free Palestine?

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The European Military-Industrial Complex

10 May 2015EU heads of government will meet to discuss (amongst other things) defence cooperation. They will without doubt point to the need for increased defence efforts due to the unstable situation on Europe’s external borders. This week European Defence Agency (EDA) chief Jorge Domecq gave a more honest account in the European Parliament. The real reason for doing more on defence is to keep high-tech companies from leaving Europe. In short, the military-industrial complex is back, or rather it never went away.

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Poland and Estonia still keeping an eye out to the East

9 May 2015By Eric Smaling - In these turbulent times it’s hard to decide which foreign news most preoccupies you. The refugee boats on the Mediterranean Sea, the caliphate of ISIS, the refugee camps in and around Syria, the earthquake in Nepal, Boko Haram, the ever more precarious situation in Yemen, the rapprochement between the US and Cuba, or Ukraine? And without the appalling fate of the MH-17 and its passengers, would Ukraine still stand so high on the list?

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