11 December 2018

SP Senator Kox welcomes Council of Europe decision to restore Russian parliamentarians voting rights

Tiny Kox, a member of the Dutch Senate and chair of the United Left Group in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), was present in Paris on 10th December for a meeting of the Assembly's Committee on Rules of Procedure. The meeting took the decision to end the suspension of Russia's voting rights in the Council of Europe, a suspension instituted in response to the country's illegal annexation of the Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Beyond that, the Committee ruled that in future no country's members of the Parliamentary Assembly may be deprived of their right to vote. In response to the suspension, Russia's parliamentarians decided to terminate their participation in PACE until their full rights were restored. They will now be entitled to return to play a full role in the body's deliberations and decision-making.

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4 December 2018

Meet the SP's lead candidates for the European Parliament and the Senate

Foto: SP

Who will lead the SP's lists for the elections to the European Parliament and the Senate? The party's members have yet to decide whether they will accept the recommendations, but in the meantime we spoke to the lead candidates as proposed on the draft lists presented today. Arnout Hoekstra is the candidate to lead the SP list for the European Parliament and Tiny Kox the lead candidate for the Senate. 

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4 December 2018

SP critical of Marrakesh Pact: Five questions for Jasper van Dijk Jasper, what exactly is the Marrakesh Pact?

Foto: SP

The Marrakesh Pact, also known as the UN Migration Pact, is a United Nations declaration the official name of which is the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The Pact does not concern refugees, for whom a separate Pact exists. The Marrakesh Pact deals with migration in the general sense. It is in large part a summary of the good points already contained in human rights treaties, but there are also points which must be looked at critically.

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30 November 2018

Save the Netherlands and break the power of Brussels

Foto: Sander van Oorspronk

No day goes by without some sort of crisis in the EU. Whether it's the refugee crisis or Brexit, the Brussels elite's solution to the problems is always the same – more Brussels, a European superstate, for all your questions and answers. The coming elections for the European Parliament aren't therefore about who will be the next president of the European Commission, but about where power lies. For SP Member of Parliament Renske Leijten and Arnout Hoekstra, who will head the party's list for those elections, the answer is clear. We must move towards a form of European cooperation in which Brussels no longer plays the boss.

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28 November 2018

Climate justice: From green revolution to social revolution

With the Paris Climate Accord in the air, our country threatens to be divided into a 'green' and a 'grey' class. How can we close this gap in perspective on climate change? Last month researchers, representatives of NGOs, SP members and other interested parties came together for a conference in Haarlem.

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22 November 2018

Halt negotiations with Mercosur trade bloc

Negotiations on the treaty between the EU and Mercosur, which will prove profitable for – amongst others - the European automobile industry and the financial sector, continued last week. Mercosur is the South American trading bloc and customs union comprising Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela. The negotiations have for some time failed to make progress, because the Mercosur countries want to export more chicken and beef than the EU is willing to allow on to the internal market.

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20 November 2018

Saudi Arabia uses starvation as a weapon in Yemen

A famine in Yemen unprecedented in its extent is the result of a deliberate tactic. The Netherlands must take the initiative in imposing sanctions on individuals who deploy starvation as a weapon of war.

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15 November 2018

Great result for rail passengers' rights

Foto: Peter Bodensee / Pixabay

The European Parliament voted today by a large majority to improve rail passengers' rights. Expressing his delight at the result, SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong, said: “Despite attempts by the rail companies' lobby to weaken my proposal, it was accepted in full: better compensation in the event of delay and more immediate support for people with limited mobility.” Referring to the Netherlands' own national carrier, he said that “the NS can no longer hide behind 'falling leaves' or 'frozen points'. Provided the Parliament's report is accepted in negotiations with the Council, serious delays will mean the passenger has a right to assistance and compensation”.

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13 November 2018

Parliament supports SP asylum proposal: More capacity, shorter procedures

In order to reduce waiting times and speed up asylum procedures the government must provide more resources for the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), according to an SP motion which was adopted today by a parliamentary majority. Commenting on the issues which the motion seeks to address, SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk said: “The procedures can take years, which is partly a result of a shortage of resources at the IND. As a result, many families with children are left in uncertainly for very lengthy periods.” More capacity would at the same time avoid the IND having to make penalty payments to asylum seekers who have had to wait too long for a ruling. On Tuesday it was revealed that the IND has had to pay a million euros in fines of this nature. ”It would of course be better if this money was spent on staffing,” said Van Dijk. “Then you'd avoid both the fines and under-capacity at the IND.“

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