Free trade treaties cost jobs

29 Sep 2014"Free trade treaties will also mean that some people will lose their jobs,’ said candidate-Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström on Monday, at the hearing for the new European Commission before the European Parliament Trade Committee on Monday. This is a peculiar statement in view of the fact that her forerunner, Karel De Gucht, always held firmly to the line that free trade agreements only provided winners. Malmström at last now acknowledges that there are also losers. ‘We’re going to look into this,’ she promised. SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur thinks that it’s about time too.

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European Parliament supports SP proposal to freeze budget for expert groups

29 Sep 2014The European Parliament Budget Committee today lent its support to the SP proposal to freeze part of the moneys for the nine hundred expert groups, the European Commission’s advisory bodies. Explaining the motive behind the proposal, SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong said, ‘For years now, during informal negotiations with the Commission, I’ve tried to get these expert groups to be more evenly balanced. We’ve made absolutely no progress on this, but the Commission has created the impression amongst social organisations that this dialogue would be ended after the elections. Today the European Parliament has let it be known that this isn’t acceptable. I believe that in a few weeks the plenary meeting of the EP will confirm this decision. Then the Commission will have nowhere to hide.’

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Military Intervention in Iraq and Syria: Five questions to SP Foreign Affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel

25 Sep 2014Military Intervention in Iraq and Syria: Five question to SP Foreign Affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel.

Irak (Flickr: eraserhead5, CC by-nd/2.0)

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Trade Minister must take action against undemocratic trade treaty

16 Sep 201416 Sep 2014 On 10th September the Dutch Parliament debated two major investment treaties with Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Trade and Development Cooperation: the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), between the EU and the US, and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), between the EU and Canada. These treaties create one big internal market covering all of the countries involved. Ploumen sees for the most part advantages in these treaties, joyfully claiming that ‘the whole world will profit from the TTIP’, but in doing so she turns a blind eye to the dangers they bring.

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What’s Left in the US?

15 Sep 2014The left movement in the US has seldom in recent years had the chance to make history. There are nevertheless in the heart of world capitalism people and organisations working hard to realise a democratic socialist society. At the beginning of August SP national secretary Hans van Heijningen took part in a conference in which grassroots activists, representatives of left parties and socialistically-oriented researchers mapped out the prospects.

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European Court of Justice undermines limits of labour migration

12 Sep 2014A scaffolder from Turkey is employed in the Netherlands by a company from Germany. According to German rules they can work in the Netherlands. According to Dutch rules they can’t. The contractor was fined €264,000. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that they can indeed work here. In common with Employment Minister Lodewijk Asscher I’m extremely disappointed in the ECJ.

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