European Parliament supports CETA, but last word is for national parliaments

15 Feb 2017The European Parliament's vote in support of CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada, was not unexpected but was in the SP's view disappointing. CETA will come into force as early as the beginning of April, but has still to be ratified by the member states.

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SP Euro-MP De Jong demands complete openness on Commission Expert Groups

14 Feb 2017The report from SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong on the European Commission's advisory expert groups was today adopted with almost unanimous support (663-16, with 13 abstentions) by the European Parliament. “I'm very pleased with the enormous support for transparency shown by my fellow MEPs,” says De Jong. Referring to the Dutch Commissioner in charge of the portfolio on transparency, he notes that “Frans Timmermans will now have to take his responsibility and ensure that an end is put to the dominant position of major corporations in the Commission's hundreds of expert groups. We saw in the investigation into Dieselgate how harmful it can be when in expert groups like CARS21, the industry dominates and environmental and consumers' organisations hardly get a look in.”

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Understanding why there’s discontent doesn’t mean legitimising discrimination

4 Feb 2017Our elections are in sight. At the same time we can see in the United States where discrimination and exclusion on the grounds of nationality, religion, sexual preference or gender can lead: to a society in which people are set against each other, while the 1% make off with the booty. It’s high time we set a new course: radical together.

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SP urges enquiry into introduction of euro

1 Feb 2017The SP is supporting the citizens’ initiative (CI) – dubbed the ‘peuro’ – requesting a parliamentary enquiry into the way in which the euro was introduced. The CI will need to gather 40,000 signatures, which will in turn oblige the Dutch Parliament to add the matter to its agenda. The people behind the CI are of the opinion that there was insufficient critical debate around the time that the Maastricht Treaty, which made the euro’s introduction possible, was signed.

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Withdrawal of Dutch passport will not solve the threat from terrorism

31 Jan 2017The Senate today discussed a proposed law that would make it possible to withdraw the passport of Dutch citizens with double nationality in the interests of national security. Only Dutch citizens who remain outside the Netherlands and are affiliated to a terrorist organisation with a jihadist philosophy would be affected. No court would be involved, with the decision reserved to the Justice Minister.

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Halt the Brussels revolving door

31 Jan 2017On the basis of today’s report from anticorruption group Transparency International’s report ´Access All Areas - When EU politicians become lobbyists´, SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong believes it’s time to see rapid measures taken to put a stop to the revolving jobs door in Brussels and intends to include this in his report on the European Parliament’s accounts. “A third of MEPs and fully half of the Commissioners turn out, at the end of their term of office, to go to work as lobbyists in the Brussels bubble”. This leads to a closed system, where big corporations, but not the general public, are welcome. The rules on cooling off periods and integrity during and after these periods must now, at last, be amended. I get a queasy feeling from fellow Members who claim to be defending the general interest and at the end of their term go straight into working as lobbyists.’

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