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2 July 2019

Chair Kox on results June session PACE

“After five years of absence, Russia finally fulfills its obligation to send a delegation from the Russian parliament to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. This puts an end to the “cafeteria interpretation” on the Russian side that a country itself decides which of the statutory bodies of Europe’s largest and oldest treaty organization it participates in and which does not.” states the chairman of the UEL Group, Mr. Kox.

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3 June 2019

The Island of Statia, the rise of the USA and the decline of the Netherlands

“The wealth of St. Eustatius is beyond your imagination,” the English admiral George Rodney wrote in 1781, just before he would plunder the Dutch colony and rob the merchants of their money and goods. This small island in the Caribbean was called the Golden Rock back then. It was a free port where everyone could buy everything, from slaves and goods to ships and weapons. The island flourished during the American Independence War (1775-1783), when the colonies in North America freed themselves from the English motherland and the armaments of the rebels largely took place via Statia. Until the English seized the opportunity and plundered the island. This history is described by Willem de Bruin, in his recently published historic novel De Gouden Rots (The Golden Rock). De Bruin, a former journalist, shows in an accessible way how Statia played an historical role in the rise of the United States, but at the same time in the decline of the Dutch Republic.

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20 May 2019

Europhiles deny that any alternative is possible

The fact that europhile politicians and opinion-makers cry shame about the SP's satirical campaign video on the fictional European Commissioner Hans Brusselmans, foaming at the mouth about populism and 'political porn', is not surprising. This always happens when hard-hitting criticisms are levelled at the European Union and the hoped for European Superstate. It happened during the referendum on the proposed European Constitution and again during the referendum on Ukraine. With this reflex the europhiles are denying that any alternative is possible. It's striking that there is so much anger and ballyhoo about our critique, while poverty in the European Union, for example, continues to be accepted. It's time for debate about what sort of European cooperation we want, cooperation in which Brussels is no longer the boss.

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20 May 2019

Brussels 'Expert Groups' must be more balanced and more open

The car manufacturers who for years issued fraudulent information on their exhaust emissions could, via European Commission 'expert groups', exert influence on legislation. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong brought to light the way these groups function. “Dieselgate showed once more how important it is that the multinationals' influence must be greatly reduced.”

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15 May 2019

Brussels protects multinationals instead of citizens

Bastiaan van Apeldoorn

The 'populist rebellion' against the current European Union is often mentioned in the same breath as the fear of globalisation. The answer from the existing political elite, headed up by French president Emmanuel Macron, who in his own country is pushing through harsh neoliberal reforms, is that it is precisely the EU that can protect people from globalisation. This kind of prattle, however, can be consigned to the dustbin. 

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13 May 2019

Break the Power of Brussels

The SP manifesto for the European elections, May 23rd 2019

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2 May 2019

Compatibility with EU law is not real issue with ISDS

The European Court of Justice is about to decide whether the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism in EU trade agreements is compatible with EU law.

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30 April 2019

Netherlands must reject trade treaty with Canada

When the city of Hamburg decided to introduce stricter environmental regulations in order to protect, amongst other things, access to drinking water, energy giant Vattenfall registered a protest. The company demanded a cool €1.4 billion, because it perceived the reform as a threat to potential future profits. The case was in the end hastily settled and Hamburg came away with nothing worse than a scare, but the city did readjust its environmental regulations. As a result, the German government was in its turn subject to a legal complaint from the European Commission, on the grounds that the country no longer fulfilled the requirements of the EU Habitats Directive. This is just one of countless examples of investors from outside the country in question claiming enormous damages for the simple reason that a decision, taken democratically, has put downward pressure on its expected profits. Even when this does not lead to an verdict favourable to the plaintiff, it sometimes manages to seriously undermine democracy.

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30 April 2019

Billions for EU arms industry is madness

Foto: SP

Arnout Hoekstra and Sadet Karabalut

For decades we were told that the EU was an organisation dedicated to peace. Previously warlike countries were now working together because  the EU and its forerunners, had now dissuaded them from going to war with each other. This appearance can no longer be maintained. The established parties have opted for far-reaching militarisation and a new Cold War with Russia. In the years to come, billions of euros are to be freed up to subsidise major European arms corporations. That is an undesirable development which presents an enormous danger to our security. 

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