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European Elections 2019

14 April 2019

Transparency behind closed doors?

Next week is the last Strasbourg week before the European elections. The working week begins Monday evening with two hearings on, respectively, conflicts of interest and political appointments, both in the presence of Budget and Human Resources Commissioner Günther Oettinger. The name connected to the issue of conflict of interest is that of Czech Prime Minister  Andrej Babis, into whose company Agrofert EU moneys have flowed. As for political appointments, we are of course thinking of the appointment of Martin Selmayr to the post of Secretary-General of the European Commission, though there have also been dodgy goings-on in the Parliament itself. In short, controversial matters. But what has the EP done? The decision has been to hold the hearings behind closed doors. Evidently there's a lot to hide, but I'll be certainly be protesting this secrecy during the hearings.

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14 March 2019

Stop the race to the bottom, fight the exploitation of workers

Many products on sale in the Netherlands are made elsewhere in the world, often under atrocious working conditions and for a much lower wage than they would be paid here. In the last fifty years a large slice of Dutch industry has decamped to low wage countries. The result? Competition between Dutch workers and workers abroad, the consequence of which is a race to the bottom. According to free market politicians and the multinationals, wages in the Netherlands must also be lowered if we want to compete with foreign countries. The ordinary Dutch or foreign worker gains no benefit from this, but big corporations have the last laugh as they see their profits explode.

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1 January 2019

2019 – the year of truth?

It's January 1st, the day we recuperate and look to the future. And for the SP's group in the European Parliament that means rounding off ongoing tasks and getting ready for May's European elections. And we're not the only ones to whom this applies. French President Immanuel Macron and Dutch European Commissioner Frans Timmermans have for weeks been busily constructing their profiles. Over one thing they are in passionate agreement: these European elections will pose the question of whether they can keep the European Union out of the hands of the populists or will see it smashed to pieces. But don't be fooled. It's not a matter of whether the the EU will survive, but of whether we can free it from the yoke of the multinationals under the weight of which it has bowed for so many decades. The real conflict is not over whether we like the EU or not, but about whether we can get it to work in the interests of ordinary people. For that to happen,the power of the multinationals and of the Eurocrats must first be broken.

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30 November 2018

Save the Netherlands and break the power of Brussels

Foto: Sander van Oorspronk

No day goes by without some sort of crisis in the EU. Whether it's the refugee crisis or Brexit, the Brussels elite's solution to the problems is always the same – more Brussels, a European superstate, for all your questions and answers. The coming elections for the European Parliament aren't therefore about who will be the next president of the European Commission, but about where power lies. For SP Member of Parliament Renske Leijten and Arnout Hoekstra, who will head the party's list for those elections, the answer is clear. We must move towards a form of European cooperation in which Brussels no longer plays the boss.

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