SP pulls out of Benelux Parliament

28 October 2009

SP pulls out of Benelux Parliament

The SP will no longer attend meetings of the Benelux Parliament. According to SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel, the body, which brings together parliamentarians from the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg is a talking shop whose main function seems to be the organisation of jaunts at the taxpayers' expense. It is not to be taken seriously.

“Truly important matters such as the Westerschelde of financial crisis don't appear on the agenda," says Van Bommel. "Not only that, but members of the parliament sometimes have to wait years to get a reaction to answers put to ministers and even the new Benelux Treaty was only presented to the Benelux Parliament after it had been signed. The parliament has no power. It is merely an advisory body. So there's no reason at all why we should turn up.”

At the initiative of the SP, the Dutch national parliament will discussed the new Benelux Treaty on Friday. The treaty confirms the continued cooperation between the three countries, including through the medium of the Benelux Parliament. "The Benelux has, however, been overtaken by the European Union, and the new treaty has no answer to this," says Van Bommel. "The Benelux has become totally superfluous, and for that reason the SP will not be supporting this treaty."

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