SP urges mailing campaign to Stop TTIP & CETA

28 May 2016Today is National Action Day in the Netherlands against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and US, and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada. These two treaties give a free hand to corporations and show no concern for workers’ rights, sustainability or safety. Democracy in the Netherlands and Europe hangs in the balance.

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‘Take more measures against illegal Israeli settlements’

27 May 2016SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel is urging the Minister of Foreign Affairs to take additional measures to counter illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. “It’s a good thing that products from the settlements can no longer be sold in Dutch supermarkets with misleading labels which give the impression that the products come from Israel,” says Van Bommel. “But as long as Israel continues to extend the settlements and the occupation of Palestinian territory is maintained, more far-reaching measures will be needed. That’s why I’m advocating that an end be put to investments by pension funds such as ABP in Israeli banks which provide mortgages to colonists, enabling the further enlargement of the settlements.”

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New EU proposals on digital market still fail to meet needs of consumers and small firms

25 May 2016The European Commission today presented new proposals for the digital market. The proposals will affect all on-line purchases. While the proposals do take into account the interests of smaller firms and of consumers, they fail to offer an immediate solution to a number of practical problems, as SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong explains: “The Commission wants to harmonise all of the rules governing on-line purchases and create one big market. There’s nothing illogical about that, but because they want to deal with everything at once, there’s a danger that real problems for smaller firms and consumers won’t be resolved.”

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SP: Drop the Trade in Services Agreement

25 May 2016The European Union should withdraw from the negotiations on the TiSA, the Trade in Services Agreement. This was the SP’s response to the latest leaked document concerning the treaty. Sections published on the WikiLeaks website show that the right of national governments to determine their policy would be put in serious jeopardy by TiSA, which would also force state-owned enterprises to conduct themselves as if they were private corporations.

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Support the real entrepreneur

25 May 2016On 23rd May the SP organised a special day in Parliament dedicated to small businesses and their operators. During the meeting the chair of Dutch small business organisation MKB Nederland, Michaël van Straalen, was presented by SP leader Emile Roemer with a new report from the party, 100% Hart voor de Zaak. The report – whose title is a play on words: ‘hart voor de zaak’ is an expression meaning ‘fully committed’, but ‘zaak’ can also mean ‘business’ – sets out the line which the SP has been following for ten years and puts forward a large number of proposals for how the true entrepreneur can be supported. According to Van Straalen the SP is the only party to organise such events. In his view the report includes many excellent points.

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Change to sustainable society goes hand in hand with employment

25 May 2016SP Member of Parliament Eric Smaling is urging the government, in the wake of the Paris climate accord, to make some progress towards the change to a sustainable society. Alongside this, Smaling argues, it’s important that employment remains a priority and that there are sufficient and training and retraining opportunities. On Tuesday, a parliamentary majority supported this proposal. “We need to work hard on making society sustainable,” says Smaling. “In this change we need to prioritise measures which give people the opportunity to participate and which generate employment and maintain purchasing power.”

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