The Netherlands must be able to say no more often to the EU

31 March 2014

The Netherlands must be able to say no more often to the EU

The Netherlands must be able to say ‘no’ to the EU more often than it does, restrain the power of lobbyists and be prepared in case the euro disintegrates.

Harry van Bommel (SP)This was the message which the SP’s Dennis de Jong and Harry van Bommel – members respectively of the European Parliament and the Dutch national Parliament – brought to the annual common debate on Europe held in the national Parliament in The Hague. ‘In Brussels the officials and European Commissioners are happy to take advice from an army of 25,000 lobbyists,’ said De Jong, ’20,000 of whom refuse to be open about on whose behalf they are working or who is funding them, yet find a willing ear in the EU. That is neither transparent nor democratic. The SP will this week, therefore, be making proposals to deny access to EU officials to unregistered lobbyists.’

Dennis de JongThe Netherlands must be prepared in case the euro disintegrates. Today Harry van Bommel, MP, argued that Parliament should be making these preparations in a transparent manner. ‘Leaving the euro now would be like jumping out of an aeroplane without a parachute,’ said Van Bommel. ‘The euro in its present form is, however, doomed to fail. So in any event we need to be prepared. Parliament is well equipped to do this in a democratic and transparent fashion, without immediate negative economic effects.’

The SP is campaigning for the elections to the European Parliament under the slogan ‘No to this EU’. The election manifesto therefore contains a large number of proposals to radically change the EU. ‘Our proposals, such as removing the right of initiative from the European Commission, would enable the Netherlands to say no more frequently,’ said De Jong. ‘This is badly needed when surveys show that two out of three Dutch people agree that the EU in its present form is too able to play the role of the Netherlands’ boss.’

You are here