De Jong: lobby transparency in European Parliament comes a step closer

6 Feb 2016At the urging of SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong, European Parliament Secretary General Klaus Welle this week promised to enable MEPs who are writing reports to place up-to-date lists of appointments with lobbyists on the EP website. “This is a breakthrough,” says De Jong. “Naming the lobbyists who have had an important influence on a report will make for greater transparency in the European Parliament. But it mustn’t stop at that. Not only rapporteurs but all MEPs must have the chance to publish their most important meetings with lobbyists.”

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The SP and the campaign against the EU-Ukraine treaty: Not Now!

5 Feb 2016The Netherlands is preparing for a referendum to be held on 6th April. In 2005 the very first referendum took place in our country, on a proposed constitution for the European Union. The government and most political parties were in favour – but two thirds of the population voted against – to the delight of the SP, which had spoken out against the proposal in Parliament. This time too the SP is once again advising the electorate to vote against, as the party itself has already done in both houses of the national parliament in The Hague.

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'EU negotiations with UK offer chance for an alternative Europe’

3 Feb 2016On Tuesday European Council president Donald Tusk and British prime minister David Cameron presented their common proposals for reform of the EU. If the European Council agrees, this is the package which Cameron will put before the people of the United Kingdom in a referendum on European Union membership. Following the recent referendum in which the Danes voted to retain their national control in the area of justice, and the coming Dutch referendum on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, scheduled for 6th April in the Netherlands, the chances are great that the British will hold their own referendum on ‘Brexit’ in the week of 23rd June. The SP sees the negotiations between Brussels and London as a step in the right direction, yet much remains to be done.

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European Parliament puts public services in the sales

3 Feb 2016The SP is concerned and outraged by the fact that the European Parliament has given the European Commission the green light to proceed with negotiations on the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). This treaty will mean the opening of the market in services to companies from fifty countries across the world, including the United States, Taiwan and Pakistan.

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China is no market economy

1 Feb 2016China is no market economy, and should not be accorded the status of one. That’s the SP’s standpoint in relation to an issue debated today by the European Parliament. China is far from fulfilling the criteria laid down by the European Union, and if classed as a market economy would gain disproportionately great competitive advantages.

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Emile Roemer and Harry van Bommel: Syrians are crying out for bread, not bombs

1 Feb 2016The PvdA (Labour Party), the junior partner in the Netherlands’ coalition government, is no longer an opponent of airstrikes being carried out by Dutch F-16s on ISIS targets in Syria. This is a remarkable decision, because the arguments against bombing used by this party in the recent past are still valid. The civil war in Syria has already led to the deaths of more than 260,000 people and created tens of millions refugees. From humanitarian considerations it’s clear that intervention is needed, but the lessons of previous interventions must not be forgotten. For these reasons we were pleased by the Labour Party’s refusal to give its support to airstrikes. Its leader, Diederik Samsom, was right to observe that what was needed first was a political plan for the future of Syria. There is still a need for such. Warring parties are arguing about who gets a seat at the negotiating table.

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