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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28 May 2018

Palestinians urge Europe to increase involvement in Middle East crisis

Foto: coolloud

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki last week paid an official visit to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The minister is urging the Court, of which Palestine is a member, to investigate whether Israel is guilty of human rights abuses in the Palestinian territories which it occupies. This is a grave request.

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23 May 2018

Aid? Self-interest, more like

On Friday, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag presented her policy note "Investeren in perspectief", ('Investments in prospect'), in which she sets out her plans for development aid and trade policy. What was striking about this was that Kaag, who has in the past received high praise for her knowledge of her subject as well as her international experience, was obliged to stick within the neoliberal lines laid down by Prime Minister Mark Rutte's 'Rutte III' government.

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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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26 April 2018

The fall of Afrin

Foto: SP

'Operation Olive Branch' – it would be hard to come up with a more cynical name for the Turkish invasion of the northern Syrian town of Afrin. Since January 20th, when the first Turkish bombs fell, the invasion has cost hundreds of lives, while the world watches on. SP foreign affairs spokeswoman Sadet Karabulut, MP, continues to urge an uncompromising condemnation of President Erdogan's warmongering politics. She was interviewed by Leslie Arp for the SP monthly De Tribune, where this article first appeared, in the original Dutch.

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23 April 2018

EU treaty with Mexico rushed through

For the SP, the revised trade treaty with Mexico that the European Commission concluded during the weekend represents a huge disappointment when seen from the point of view of the protection of human rights or ethical business practice. “Obviously the European Commission finds getting one over on President Trump of more importance than fulfilling its own ambitions in relation to fair trade,” says SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur. “One after another, free trade agreements are being signed at a murderous pace, while existing free trade and globalisation are increasing inequality across the world.”

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18 April 2018

JEFTA is a Trojan Horse

Foto: SP

SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur describes the 'agreement in principle' concluded today by the European Commission with Japan – JEFTA, or the Japan-EU Free Trade Agreement - as a Trojan Horse. “The controversial chapters on investment protection (the ISDS – Investor State dispute Settlement) and the transfer of personal data for commercial purposes are for the moment being kept out of the picture,” she says. “This is in the hope that the removal of trade tariffs will persuade the European Council and the European Parliament to approve the treaty. That's a very underhand way to pilot a controversial treaty away from democratic control.”

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14 April 2018

The attack on Syria

Last night the US, UK and France launched a series of air raids on military targets controlled by the Assad regime in Syria. According to the three countries' own statements, this was in response to a gas attack by the Syrian army earlier this month. The Netherlands has expressed support ('understanding' in the jargon) for this military action by the western powers. This is completely misguided, because the American-led attack is, just as was the gas attack, a breach of international law.

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6 April 2018

Government ignores clear ‘No’ from the people

The government is refusing to make serious adjustments to the ‘Sleepwet’, the proposed law extending the powers of the security services, despite the clear no in the referendum on the issue. The SP agrees that our secret services must be able to pursue concrete suspicions of terrorist activities, but not with the collection of random data from innocent people. Interior Minister Kajsa Ollongren has renewed her promise that the security and intelligence services would apply the law with caution, but has refused to remove their right to collect random data in the ‘sleepnet’. This undermines any faith in government promises and completely ignores the voters’ ‘no’.

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