3 June 2018

The procession of the multinationals' servants

We get them all in Strasbourg, the leaders of the member states' governments, determined to give us their vision of Europe's future. French president Emmanuel Macron was there in April, Luxembourg's prime minister  Xavier Bettel last week, and in a week-and-a-half it will be Dutch premier Mark  Rutte's turn. Macron's and Bettel's speeches were full of fine words about European values, but the latter inadvertently showed his true face when he insisted that taxes for multinationals should be, as far as he's concerned, kept down. Just as Macron abolished the tax on big capital (of a value exceeding €1.3 billion), on the grounds that he wants to encourage young people to themselves become billionaires (!), and just as Rutte is looking to get rid of the tax on dividends, Bettel did not enjoy my challenging his similar proposals and views during the debate which followed his speech. But they're all the same - Macron, Bettel and Rutte – the future of Europe doesn't interest them in the least. Their procession through Strasbourg is nothing but a parade of multinationals' servants.
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29 May 2018

Trade treaty with Latin American countries a threat to public health

The trade treaty between the EU and a number of Latin American countries, those which make up the trade association Mercosur, presents a threat to European public health. It cannot be ruled out that more 'salmonella chicken' will end up on the European consumer's plate. For this reason the treaty should be immediately rejected, argues Anne-Marie Mineur, MEP.

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29 May 2018

European networks won't prevent radicalisation, work on the ground will

The European Court of Auditors today presented a Special Report on the effectiveness of the European Commission's activities aimed at tackling radicalisation that leads to terrorism. Commenting on the report, SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong said: “The Court of Auditors confirms what everyone actually already knows, that talking shops in Brussels won't prevent radicalisation. It demands an approach through work in the neighbourhoods. The most you can do at European level is to draw up agreements to remove texts from the internet that encourage terrorist violence, but beyond that it's mainly a matter of finding out on the ground what is going on in vulnerable neighbourhoods. That's not something that the European Commission can or should do.”

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27 May 2018

Truck and bus drivers advance on Strasbourg

It's going to happen at last: on Tuesday, 29th May, hundreds of lorry drivers and bus drivers will demonstrate outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The action is timely, because the European Commission's proposals in its 'mobility package' are bad news for these drivers' rights, while the Euro-MPs who must approve them have not found the courage to stand firm in opposition. Without protest there is a strong probability that the proposals will be adopted.

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22 May 2018

EU Council must be transparent

Foto: SP
SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur is urging the European Council to make the mandates for two far-reaching free trade treaties immediately public. The Council today empowered the European Commission to open negotiations on the free trade treaties with  Australia and New Zealand. The mandate for the negotiations is broad and includes, amongst other things, trade in goods and services, and access to public tenders. Read more
13 May 2018

Europe Day a dead letter

On 9th May we marked Europe Day. In Brussels and elsewhere, all of the European Union institutions were closed. It was a day off. It's actually an extremely symbolic day, something dreamed up at the highest level, but because the citizens of the member states have never been asked their views, it remains a dead letter. It's one of the many attempts to create a 'European feeling' that simply doesn't exist. This wouldn't be so bad in itself, if there wasn't a hidden agenda: the European feeling must also make it clear why we are a single market. Why all shops in the EU must eventually look alike. Why it's being made increasingly difficult for member states to conduct their own social-economic policies. Europe Day is less innocent than it appears.

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6 May 2018

Juncker is dangerously active over the Western Balkans

It is characteristic of Juncker’s Commission that not only do the European Commissioners clearly want to grab more and more powers from the member states, but that they want to acquire in addition ever more such member states. This week the Council of Europe (an entirely separate, non-EU body comprising 47 countries) published the annual report from its anti-corruption network GRECO. This presents a very different picture from that to be found in the Commission’s mid-April progress reports on individual applicant states. Countries such as Albania and FYROM(Macedonia) have, according to GRECO, made little progress in fighting corruption, despite the European Commission claiming that in that respect things are going well. The strategic interest of the Western Balkans evidently counts for more with Juncker than does telling the truth about the situations in these countries.

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30 April 2018

Power and powerlessness in the supply of food

We've all seen it from time to time in the supermarket: food so cheap we ask ourselves how anyone can make money from it. How can a chicken or a bag of onions cost so little? Of course as consumers we're glad, especially if we're on a low income, but at the same time we have the feeling that somewhere along the way there must be losers. Who are the losers in the food supply chain? And what can we do about it?

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22 April 2018

Once again, EU attacks our pensions

For years now we've had to contend with Brussels' attacks on our pension system. The European Commission understands well enough that there is a general payment known as the AOW, but finds it nonsensical that there is also a compulsory supplementary occupational pension, in which employers also have to pay. In their view people should first and foremost take care of their own pensions as individuals. This wouldn't only be handy for the employers, but also mush better for insurance companies who would make handsome profits from it. The latest assault is known as the Pan-European Pension Product and consists of just such an individual insurance. Great news for the market fundamentalists, but in my view this proposed law will come to nothing.

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