7 December 2015

Van Bommel: Fundamental discussion on future of EU needed

In the first half of 2016 the Netherlands will take its turn in the European Union’s six-month rotating presidency. According to SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel, the presidency is an excellent chance to launch a fundamental discussion on the future of the European Union. ‘Many people have turned their backs on the European project because they feel it’s far too forced. Because of that they’ve lost their faith in what national politics can mean for them. But the government is sticking its head in the sand and acts as if debates about “more Europe” or “less Europe” were so much waffle. A missed opportunity.’

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6 December 2015

The European Parliament carries on regardless

The European Union staggers from crisis to crisis, but the European Parliament continues to dream of a federal Europe. During next year’s Dutch presidency, a report will arrive from the Liberal group leader Guy Verhofstadt advocating the transformation of the European Commission into a European government and the abolition of the Council of Ministers, which would be replaced by a sort of Senate. The message from a very large slice of the European public has rung loud and clear for years: could ‘Europe’ be a bit less? This message is seen by federalist primarily as awkward, and despite all the fine talk, the Brussels ‘bubble’ simply doesn’t give a hoot for what ordinary people think.

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22 November 2015

Will Euro-MPs at last have to reveal all?

Last Friday it was announced that a group of twenty-nine journalists from every member state ia to take the European Parliament to court on the grounds that it has failed to give access to the accounts of MEPs relating to spending which has been reimbursed. A splendid move: these data are, to be precise, absolutely inaccessible, despite the fact that every year I request them and despite motions I have presented to the effect that they should be available having in the past received majority support within the EP. That will teach them…

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15 November 2015


In the wake of the tragic events in Paris it could be heard from many different sides: this is an attack on our European values. In my eyes, with this we are falling straight into the trap set by the so-called Islamic State, by ISIS, for this is no attack on European values, it’s an attack on universal values. Values which the international community in the form of the United Nations assembled decades ago and which are laid down in a wide range of international treaties. The terror perpetrated by ISIS is not terror against the west, against Europe, as they see very well themselves, but terror against the whole world.

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8 November 2015

Euro-MPs boycott meeting to discuss amendments to code of conduct

The SP team in the European Parliament, along with lobbying watchdog ALTER-EU, were intending to organise a meeting in the Parliament on how the Code of Conduct for MEPs is functioning. We had concrete proposals to put forward for debate. But what do you know? All of my fellow Members who sit on the various EP committees and other bodies which concern themselves with this Code of Conduct and whom we had invited to attend well in advance, turned out to have prior engagements. Bad luck or evasive action? I fear it was the latter.

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14 October 2015

SP says no to Association Agreement with Ukraine

The referendum on the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine is to go ahead. On Wednesday the Electoral Council announced that, on the basis of a random check, it had been shown that the national Citizens’ Initiative, now institutionalised in Dutch law, had achieved the necessary minimum of 300.000 valid signatures. SP Member of Parliament and spokesman on the EU Harry van Bommel says that the referendum is ‘a splendid chance for citizens to express their views on the future of the EU’.

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27 September 2015

445,000 signatures for a referendum on EU treaty with Ukraine

Foto: SP

‘Geen Peil’, a coalition of organisations and individuals which includes the Citizens’ Committee-EU and the Forum for Democracy, has collected in excess of the 300,000 signatures required under Dutch law for a referendum on the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union. It is likely that the referendum on the national law approving the treaty will be held early in the new year.

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9 September 2015

Juncker is threatening the European Union’s survival

Foto: SP

As a true president, Jean-Claude Juncker today gave his State of the Union address. The president of the European Commission is, it’s true, not democratically elected, but in status and style he is really trying to be a true president. Today he presented his vision of Europe, reading to us all from the lesson: “There is a shortage of Europe.” Above all, Juncker wants “more Europe”: a European treasury, a European Finance Minister, and European Union representation at international fora. He showed himself to be completely unaware of past mistakes, which is why we are now entering a fresh phase in Europe of a failing policy.

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8 September 2015

Dijsselbloem doesn’t spare the taxpayer

Despite the recently established banking union, the Dutch taxpayer is still forking out for failing banks, the Senate learned today during a debate with Finance Minister and Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

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