European Elections 2009

16 April 2009

Parties' leading candidates in Brussels debate

With a month and a half to go, the campaign for the European elections on June 4th is once again under way. The most important debate between the parties' number one candidates took place last Tuesday in Brussels. In Brussels? Yes, you heard correctly, the debate between the six Dutch candidates was held in.... Belgium. European elections, like Dutch national elections, are organised around party lists, and the candidates present were in each case the 'lijsttrekkers', the leading name on the list. The six were invited into the European Parliament building to put each other to the test.

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16 April 2009

'Brussels should keep its hands off ex-prisoners' work scheme.'

Dennis de Jong, number one on the SP list for the European elections, finds it "inconceivable" that European Union rules might scupper a social project for ex-prisoners. "Far too many prisoners return to crime on release," De Jong says. "We can combat this by offering then a useful way to fill their day, one which also gives them a way to earn money. Interference from Brussels is making this impossible."

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10 April 2009

Complaints about European Parliament's two sites, from politicians with two faces

Politicians have been complaining for years about the European Parliament's trips between Strasbourg and Brussels. Every month, there and back, in cars, trains and aeroplanes full of MEPs, their assistants and EU officials go, followed closely by a pack of journalists.

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9 April 2009

First sighting of SP election posters: '61,6%' launching pad: ''The Netherlands wants less Brussels'

On Thursday in Rotterdam the SP struck the first blow in the campaign for the European Parliament elections in June. Number one on the SP list, Dennis de Jong, posted the first example of a mega-poster on which the statistic 61.6% occupied a central position. The figure refers to the percentage of Dutch voters who registered their opposition, in June 2005, to the proposed European Constitution in the referendum which rejected the measure.

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2 April 2009

New EU energy labels are misleading, says SP Euro-Candidate Dennis De Jong

Dennis de JongDennis de Jong, number one on the SP's list for the forthcoming European Parliament elections, believes the newly-proposed energy label put forward by the European Commission to be "misleading". The Commission's proposal is for the 'A-label', an EU mark designed to encourage energy efficiency, to be offered to more products, with the less energy efficient given a lower percentage figure. “The Commission has once again been lending a keen ear to the views of the corporate business lobby, which has been the case for years," says De Jong. "Instead of the A-label creating more exacting demands, it has been watered down with percentage figures which will not be clear to people. The consumer and the environment lose, while the corporate business lobby celebrates."

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28 March 2009

SP goes to London for G20 protest march

Police estimate that 35,000 demonstrators took part in today's protest march through London. The mass demonstration, which passed close to a number of government and parliament buildings including 10 Downing Street itself, was directed against the G20, the gathering of twenty-two of the world's richest and most powerful countries which takes place in Britain's capital on Thursday. A delegation of SP members, amongst whom was Dennis de Jong, the party's number one on the list for the European Parliament elections on June 4th, and Senator Tuur Elzinga, took part in the demo.

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26 March 2009

SP youth demonstrate in Brussels: ''Europe Big in Business. Small in Democracy'

'Europe Big in Business. Small in Democracy.' This was the slogan on a banner at the entrance to the European Business Summit in Brussels, an annual gathering of European businesspeople and politicians. This year, no fewer than eleven of the twenty-seven European Commissioners attended.

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24 March 2009

SP Youth will demonstrate against Brussels lobby circus

The SP youth organisation ROOD (pronounced 'rote', it means 'Red') is planning a playful action for 26th March in Brussels to draw attention to the hidden influence exercised by lobbyists on the European Union's policies. The demonstration will take place outside the European Business Summit, a cosy annual gathering between members of the European Commission, leading European politicians and representatives of Europe's corporate business.

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22 March 2009

'The Netherlands wants less Brussels'

53-year-old Dennis de Jong from Rotterdam will top the SP's list for the 4th June European Parliament elections. De Jong, currently a special adviser on human rights and good governance to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is confident of trading this post for a prominent position in the European Parliament. “We have a real answer to the disastrous neoliberal course of the governing Christian Democrat and Labour parties (CDA and PvdA) and the right-wing opposition Liberals (VVD), both in the Netherlands and in Europe. We aren't 'Europhiles', we haven't lost our senses over 'Europe', unlike the (centrist) D66 and the Green Left. Nor are we 'Europhobe' like the far right Wilders with his 'get rid of Europe' message. What we say is 'The Netherlands wants less Brussels. Cooperation okay, but what we can do ourselves, from now on we'd like to do ourselves.'

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