SP International

New EU proposals on digital market still fail to meet needs of consumers and small firms

25 May 2016The European Commission today presented new proposals for the digital market. The proposals will affect all on-line purchases. While the proposals do take into account the interests of smaller firms and of consumers, they fail to offer an immediate solution to a number of practical problems, as SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong explains: “The Commission wants to harmonise all of the rules governing on-line purchases and create one big market. There’s nothing illogical about that, but because they want to deal with everything at once, there’s a danger that real problems for smaller firms and consumers won’t be resolved.”

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Support the real entrepreneur

25 May 2016On 23rd May the SP organised a special day in Parliament dedicated to small businesses and their operators. During the meeting the chair of Dutch small business organisation MKB Nederland, Michaël van Straalen, was presented by SP leader Emile Roemer with a new report from the party, 100% Hart voor de Zaak. The report – whose title is a play on words: ‘hart voor de zaak’ is an expression meaning ‘fully committed’, but ‘zaak’ can also mean ‘business’ – sets out the line which the SP has been following for ten years and puts forward a large number of proposals for how the true entrepreneur can be supported. According to Van Straalen the SP is the only party to organise such events. In his view the report includes many excellent points.

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Change to sustainable society goes hand in hand with employment

25 May 2016SP Member of Parliament Eric Smaling is urging the government, in the wake of the Paris climate accord, to make some progress towards the change to a sustainable society. Alongside this, Smaling argues, it’s important that employment remains a priority and that there are sufficient and training and retraining opportunities. On Tuesday, a parliamentary majority supported this proposal. “We need to work hard on making society sustainable,” says Smaling. “In this change we need to prioritise measures which give people the opportunity to participate and which generate employment and maintain purchasing power.”

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Struggle for human rights in Azerbaijan deserves support

19 May 2016SP Members of Parliament Harry van Bommel and Michiel van Nispen , together with party colleague Senator Tiny Kox, met today with Azerbaijani human rights activists Leyla and Arif Yunus and their daughter Dinara. The meeting focused on the appalling human rights situation in the country.

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TTIP bad for people on low incomes, bad for the environment

14 May 2016The TTIP will not help people in lower income groups to make progress, and could possibly even harm them, as consumer prices rise. In addition, the TTIP will increase coal consumption by 0.3% and gas consumption by 0.2% and lead to a growth in CO2 emissions of between 0.2% and 0.3%. Furthermore, the TTIP presents a threat to the agreements on climate signed late last year in Paris. The SP has drawn these conclusions from the draft environmental report published by the research bureau Ecorys, which examines the sustainability of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership currently under negotiation by the European Union and the United States.

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SP calls on European Commissioner Thyssen to stand firm in combating exploitation

10 May 2016Today it will become clear whether sufficient member states have shown the yellow card to European Commissioner Marianne Thyssen’s Posted Workers’ Directive. Under the yellow card procedure, member states can vote to send proposals back to the Commission for reconsideration. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong explains: “If there is indeed enough support for the yellow card procedure, the Commission will be forced to rethink its proposals. The objectors are primarily central and eastern European member states who clearly don’t mind their workers being subject to exploitation when they are posted to another EU country. In the European Parliament I’m hoping to collect as many signatures as possible on a letter to Thyssen calling on her to stand by her proposals.”

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Anne-Marie Mineur: If Malmström means what she says, she has to put an end to TTIP

7 May 2016European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström won’t give way to the Americans’ desire to lower our standards, and nor will she accept products on our market that fail to fulfil these standards. Malmström made these statements in response to last Monday’s TTIP leaks. If she’s speaking the truth, then it would be better if the Commission were to halt the negotiations. The question is, does Malmström have another agenda?

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Breakthrough as Timmermans agrees to give more information on lobbyists’ influence

3 May 2016On 2nd May the European Parliament hosted a meeting on the introduction of a compulsory transparency register for lobbyists.

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Harry van Bommel: Turkey’s repression crosses the line

28 Apr 2016Freedom of expression and of the press have been under pressure for some years in Turkey, a fact confirmed by the World Press Freedom Index published annually by Reporters Without Borders. In 2014 Turkey recorded a poor result, but fell further last year to as low as 151st, only 29 off the bottom position, and lower than Venezuela, Russia or Tadzhikistan. In comparison the Netherlands came second.

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