SP International

ISDS: SP urges national legal body to offer its judgment of arbitration system

9 Feb 2016In the wake of the condemnation of the proposed Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system by German and European judges’ associations, the SP is eager to hear the opinions of the Netherlands’ own Council for the Administration of Justice (Nederlandse Raad voor de Rechtspraak) regarding the controversial arbitration system and its successor, the Investment Court System (ICS). The SP has sent a written request to the Council to that effect.

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De Jong: lobby transparency in European Parliament comes a step closer

6 Feb 2016At the urging of SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong, European Parliament Secretary General Klaus Welle this week promised to enable MEPs who are writing reports to place up-to-date lists of appointments with lobbyists on the EP website. “This is a breakthrough,” says De Jong. “Naming the lobbyists who have had an important influence on a report will make for greater transparency in the European Parliament. But it mustn’t stop at that. Not only rapporteurs but all MEPs must have the chance to publish their most important meetings with lobbyists.”

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The SP and the campaign against the EU-Ukraine treaty: Not Now!

5 Feb 2016The Netherlands is preparing for a referendum to be held on 6th April. In 2005 the very first referendum took place in our country, on a proposed constitution for the European Union. The government and most political parties were in favour – but two thirds of the population voted against – to the delight of the SP, which had spoken out against the proposal in Parliament. This time too the SP is once again advising the electorate to vote against, as the party itself has already done in both houses of the national parliament in The Hague.

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'EU negotiations with UK offer chance for an alternative Europe’

3 Feb 2016On Tuesday European Council president Donald Tusk and British prime minister David Cameron presented their common proposals for reform of the EU. If the European Council agrees, this is the package which Cameron will put before the people of the United Kingdom in a referendum on European Union membership. Following the recent referendum in which the Danes voted to retain their national control in the area of justice, and the coming Dutch referendum on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, scheduled for 6th April in the Netherlands, the chances are great that the British will hold their own referendum on ‘Brexit’ in the week of 23rd June. The SP sees the negotiations between Brussels and London as a step in the right direction, yet much remains to be done.

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European Parliament puts public services in the sales

3 Feb 2016The SP is concerned and outraged by the fact that the European Parliament has given the European Commission the green light to proceed with negotiations on the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). This treaty will mean the opening of the market in services to companies from fifty countries across the world, including the United States, Taiwan and Pakistan.

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China is no market economy

1 Feb 2016China is no market economy, and should not be accorded the status of one. That’s the SP’s standpoint in relation to an issue debated today by the European Parliament. China is far from fulfilling the criteria laid down by the European Union, and if classed as a market economy would gain disproportionately great competitive advantages.

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Emile Roemer and Harry van Bommel: Syrians are crying out for bread, not bombs

1 Feb 2016The PvdA (Labour Party), the junior partner in the Netherlands’ coalition government, is no longer an opponent of airstrikes being carried out by Dutch F-16s on ISIS targets in Syria. This is a remarkable decision, because the arguments against bombing used by this party in the recent past are still valid. The civil war in Syria has already led to the deaths of more than 260,000 people and created tens of millions refugees. From humanitarian considerations it’s clear that intervention is needed, but the lessons of previous interventions must not be forgotten. For these reasons we were pleased by the Labour Party’s refusal to give its support to airstrikes. Its leader, Diederik Samsom, was right to observe that what was needed first was a political plan for the future of Syria. There is still a need for such. Warring parties are arguing about who gets a seat at the negotiating table.

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Ploumen forces CETA treaty with Canada on to agenda of EU Council of Ministers

28 Jan 2016In her role as Chair of the EU Council of Trade Ministers, Dutch minister Lilianne Ploumen – a member of the Labour Party (PvdA) - has put the signing and provisional coming into force of the controversial Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada (CETA) on the agenda for the International Trade Council meeting scheduled for May 13th. This was revealed by the still unpublished agenda which the SP has managed to get hold of. In doing this, Ploumen is bypassing the European Court of Justice, which still has to give its advice on the question as to whether such treaties are an exclusive EU competence or whether the member states also have the right to take decisions independently. The SP calls on Ploumen to make signing the treaty conditional on the agreement of the member states’ national parliaments.

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Kox: 'Combatting terrorism must not undermine the rule of law in Europe’

28 Jan 2016The struggle against terrorism and for the protection of the constitutional state should not be at odds with each other but, on the contrary, ought to be mutually reinforcing. To fight terrorism by restricting human rights is to play into the hands of the terrorists. Member states of the Council of Europe have the right and duty to protect their citizens from terror. At the same time they must continue to guarantee the fundamental values of the European Convention on Human Rights. Only in that way can terrorism be defeated. A resolution to this effect was adopted this week with broad support by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). PACE also voted in favour of a large number of amendments from SP Senator Tiny Kox, who chairs the United Left Group in the Assembly. The amendments were designed to make the fight against terrorism in the future more efficient and more effective.

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