Leijten reins in the Secretary of State: EU must not review laws already adopted

30 May 2012

Leijten reins in the Secretary of State: EU must not review laws already adopted

By refusing to sign the law, proposed by the SP and adopted by Parliament, putting an end to compulsory tendering, Secretary of State for Health Marlies Veldhuizen van Zanten is bargaining away the nation’s constitution, says SP Member of Parliament Renske Leijten. Veldhuizen van Zanten has stated her intention to submit the law to the European Commission for approval. ‘We go over the laws we adopt ourselves,’ says Leijten, ‘and if Europe doesn’t agree with them, we’ll hear it from them. The Secretary of State is making laws adopted by the Parliament of the Netherlands subordinate to the judgement of the European Commission, and that she should not be doing.’'

On 17th April 2012 the Senate adopted the law, proposed on the initiative of the SP, to make putting home help services out to tender no longer obligatory. After six years of discussion of whether tendering should or should not be compulsory, the Senate, in confirming the vote in the lower house, judged that it should not. ‘By doing so they called a halt to years of tug-of-war, giving local authorities the freedom to choose whether or not they wanted to follow tendering procedures,’ Leijten explains. Now, to the astonishment of Leijten and a majority of her colleagues in Parliament, the Secretary of State wants to submit the law to the European Commission.

‘The Secretary of State is playing hide-and-seek in order to avoid having to give her own judgement of the law,’ says Leijten. ‘In the Senate a strong argument was put that the proposed measure was in conflict with European law. Following a detailed answer from myself, the Senate adopted the measure by majority vote. The Secretary of State must simply now do what’s correct, and sign the law. She can no longer hide behind Europe. The Parliament of the Netherlands has spoken.’

A Parliamentary majority made up of four other parties supports the SP in its demand that the law should not be submitted to the European Commission.

You are here