Dutch Women's Council holds conference to debate European elections

18 April 2009

Dutch Women's Council holds conference to debate European elections

Kartika Liotard spoke on behalf of the SP at a conference on the European Parliamentary elections organised by the Dutch Women's Council (NVR) in the Old Hall in the national parliament in The Hague on Friday 17th April.

More than a hundred women – and a few men – came to listen to contributions from the women candidates for the European Parliament who took part, on behalf of their parties, in a speakers' panel. The conference was opened by a man – Frans Timmermans, Labour Secretary of State for European Affairs – who gave an enthusiastic speech in favour of the European Union.

Timmermans' speech preceded an intense discussion which concerned not only the position of women in the Netherlands, but also that of farmers and smallholders in developing countries, most of whom are women. Both the public and the speakers clearly had strong feelings about the various issues which arose, from the militarisation woven into the fabric of the Lisbon Treaty, to the role of women in bringing conflicts to an end, to the consequences for women in developing countries of EU export subsidies on agricultural products: the debate was in-depth and interesting. "I found this a successful afternoon," said Kartika Liotard, Member of the European Parliament for the SP since 2004, and now Number 2 on the party's list for the June 4 elections. "A good number of women took part in the discussion and many of them supported the SP's positions."

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