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Europe

15 January 2018

Stop the European race to the bottom

Jasper van DijkYears of struggle have gone into this: after Belgium and Germany, we now have in the Netherlands also a ban on truck drivers, most of whom come from eastern Europe, spending entire weekends in their cabs on lorry parks during their compulsory rest periods. So it's to be welcomed that transport minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of the centre-right VVD actually joined a team of people this weekend distributing flyers informing the drivers about this new ban. This is a big step forwards in two ways: better conditions for drivers and a government minister from a right-wing party willing to go out and distribute flyers.

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14 January 2018

The Commission has no regard for small businesses

The European umbrella group for organisations of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), known by its French acronym UEAPME, is sounding a warning: the European Commission wants to change the definition of 'SME' to allow bigger firms to come under it. The EU support which SMEs can access could, the Commission argues, lead to too many of them deliberately remaining small, not seeking to grow beyond the size at which they would fail to qualify for aid.

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10 December 2017

Human rights for everyone?

Today is the International Day of Human Rights. And yesterday was the International Anti-Corruption Day. These may not have made front page news, and yet they are important, especially now human rights are being undermined from all sides and corruption is rampant. I'll always carry on resisting those who argue that human rights are a western or liberal invention. But as well as being universal, human rights are indivisible. Social rights go hand in hand with classic human rights: they depend on each other, a fact often forgotten in the west.

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8 December 2017

SP opposes EU-Japan agreement

The SP is alarmed by the trade treaty which the EU concluded with the Japan today. Japan is undermining international agreements on both illegal forest clearance and whaling. In addition, there are concerns about data protection for the public. To cap it all, national parliaments will have no right or opportunity to express their views on the treaty.

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4 December 2017

SP on the street to oppose permanent war

Foto: SP

SP members took to the streets in three cities at the weekend and on into Monday to speak out against the government's decision to prolong three military missions. Under the slogan 'Permanent war? Not in my name', flyers were distributed in The Hague, Leiden and Amsterdam.

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4 December 2017

The struggle against terror can't be won with bombs

Shortly after the horrific attacks of 11th September 2001 in New York, George W. Bush unleashed the War on Terror. Once and for all, terrorist organisations like Al Qa’ida had to be dealt with. The War on Terror began in October of the same year with the invasion of Afghanistan, where the Taliban regime was ousted, and there followed the attack on and invasion of Iraq, which put an end to Saddam Hussein's dictatorship. Years and years of occupation followed in both cases.

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12 November 2017

Market, market, market

During the last few weeks I have been pestered by lobbyists about the ‘market in services’. The member states, they argue, are offering far too little and for that reason the lobbyists are pleased with the package of European Commission proposals designed ‘to allow this market to do its work.’ What they forget is that services differ greatly one from another and that regulation of the market is necessary in order to prevent abuses. It’s not for nothing that tradespeople study for diplomas which prove they are qualified.

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8 November 2017

European Commission’s proposals on regional transport: yet more liberalisation

SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong will oppose the proposals on local and regional transport services presented today by the European Commission.

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5 November 2017

Arms industry has Brussels in its grip

We’ve heard it in recent weeks from both the European Commission and the leaders of member state governments: threats on the international level are so great that we have urgent need of a European defence policy. Over the next ten years the Commission wants to channel €40 billion into weapons research via a European Defence Fund. But is the so-called ‘threat’ the real reason for the sudden demand for more finance? A Belgian peace group investigated this and what did it find?

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