17 October 2018

EU undermines its own position on 'fair' trade

The European Union's Council of Foreign Affairs Ministers has voted to approve the signing later in the week of two separate treaties between the EU and Singapore, one covering trade and the other investment. This is despite the fact that the treaties directly contradict the Commission's lofty promises on fair and sustainable trade, as SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur explains: “Singapore has failed to ratify important international treaties regarding workers' rights, such as those relating to trade unionism. Despite this, the trade treaty will be signed this week. Obviously we can't attach much credibility to the EU's statements when they say they value trade treaties which benefit working people.”

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15 October 2018

We must rid the world of nuclear weapons, beginning with the Netherlands

Foreign Minister Stef Blok must abandon his short-sighted policies, says Sadet Karabulut

Despite the fact that growing tensions in the world give every cause for nuclear disarmament, Foreign Minister Stef Blok has embraced NATO's nuclear arms doctrine as part of the Netherlands' security policy. Nuclear weapons are accepted as deterrent, and we will disarm only if and when others do so. Until then we will adopt the American nuclear plans, under which President Trump will invest a trillion dollars over the next few years in the modernisation of his country's nuclear arsenal. In the first major debate with Blok on the issue, he stated that he had no desire to distance himself from this position.

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10 October 2018

Call for a workers' 'Golden Share' heard all the way to Brussels

Foto: Femke Reudler Talsma

The SP wants workers to have a greater say in important decisions taken by the enterprise for which they work via recognition of a 'golden share'. The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) is also working on this issue, and SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong has signed ETUC's European Appeal and, at the demonstration in Brussels on 10th October, called on fellow MEPs to do the same. Without workers there would be no firms, so they should have a decisive vote in their direction and management, especially when it comes to mergers, branch closures, or divestment.

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8 October 2018

European Parliament supports UN Treaty to force corporations to respect human rights

The European Parliament has expressed its explicit support for a UN treaty that will make it compulsory for companies to respect human rights and give victims the right to go to law. In doing so the Parliament is looking to put pressure on both the European  Union and the representatives of the member states during the next round of talks in Geneva, which begin on 15th October.

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6 October 2018

A just migration policy: Five questions for Jasper van Dijk

Promoting human dignity, equality and solidarity is our most fundamental principle. These values are poorly represented when you look at how refugees and other migrants are faring throughout the world. People traffickers earn huge amounts in organising life-threatening crossings to Europe, with thousands drowned as a result. People who lack the funds to pay a trafficker or who are not in a state of sufficient health to cross the sea in a small boat can't even take this risk. SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk advocates a truly just migration policy.

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5 October 2018

EU spending shows fewer errors, but questions remain

On 4th October the European Court of Auditors published its official annual report on EU expenditure. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong's reaction to this is relatively positive, but he continues to have criticisms, as he explains. “It's certainly good news that the proportion of spending errors has fallen from 3.1% to 2,4%, though just as was the case last year you probably need to add some 2% which the Court of Auditors has left out of the reckoning. Nevertheless, the trend is good. You might well ask yourself how well the paperwork reflects the reality of all the practical examples of fraud and corruption, and of the waste which regularly emerges via the media. And finally, as the report shows, we would be better off putting an end to the so-called Juncker investment fund, which, as it turns out, clearly doesn't work.”

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3 October 2018

Lying about support for armed groups in Syria is unacceptable

During Tuesday's Parliamentary debate on Dutch aid to armed groups in Syria, SP Member of Parliament Sadet Karabulut presented a motion of no confidence in Foreign Minister Stef Blok.

Explaining her reasons for this, Karabulut said, “We had to learn from the media that for years the Netherlands had been supplying pick-up trucks, uniforms and other materiel to war criminals, to Jihadists and allies of Al Qa’ida. Time after time we've asked about this and each time the government has denied it.  In view of the minister's half-truths and lies regarding this support, we saw no other option but to propose a motion of no confidence.”  

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27 September 2018

De Jong Report offers hope of protection for whistleblowers in EU institutions

The advisory report from SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong on the protection of whistleblowers was carried today in the Budgetary Control Commission by 16 votes to 1, with 4 abstentions. Explaining the necessity for his report, De Jong said: “The proposal from the European Commission only deals with whistleblowers in the member states. However, there's also a growing number of people within the EU institutions willing to stick their necks out and report abuses. In my report I've made a series of proposals aimed at improving protection for such people.” 

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27 September 2018

Sadet Karabulut: Save the Yemenis, stop the arms trade

Three-and-a-half years of war in Yemen have led to the world's biggest humanitarian crisis. The Netherlands must step up pressure in the UN, says Sadet Karabulut.

The biggest humanitarian crisis in the world. That's the result of three-and-a-half years of war and a deadly blockade of Yemen. The bulk of the responsibility lies with Saudi Arabia, which has attacked one civilian target after another. Schools, markets, mosques – absolutely nothing is spared.

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