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17 May 2017

European Patent Office must respect workers’ rights

Foto: doevos

On 16th May the Dutch Parliament voted in favour of a motion proposed by SP Member Maarten Hijink and the PvdD’s (Party for the Animals’) Esther Ouwehand asking the government to ensure that employees of the European Patent Office (EPO) can take their employers to court in the Netherlands.

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16 May 2017

EU Court rules trade treaties must be approved by member states

Foto: SP

National and regional parliaments must approve free trade treaties before they can definitively enter into force. That is the gist of the position taken by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), the highest European Union court, which the European Commission had asked for clarification. What this means is that numerous comprehensive treaties negotiated by the Commission over recent years will now have to be presented to thirty-eight parliaments throughout the EU, giving the member states more power to halt controversial agreements.

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15 May 2017

The military approach is counterproductive ‘A new Cold War seems to have broken out’

SP Member of Parliament Sadet Karabulut, foreign affairs spokeswoman for the party, is calling on people from across the continent to join her at the demonstration in Brussels on the 24th and 25th of May against the aggressive bombing policies of Donald Trump and NATO. “Sometime you get the impression that NATO won’t let any chance go to pour more oil on the flames,” she says.

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11 May 2017

Anne-Marie Mineur: European tendering is a disaster for the Netherlands and the EU wants to make it even worse

In the national daily NRC on May 4th, councillors from Rotterdam’s ruling coalition sounded the alarm about the obligation to put local health care out to tender across the European Union. Their most important objection to the public procurement law is that private care-providers from other countries will lack local knowledge, and that the duty to tender across Europe is creating an enormous bureaucratic burden. Experienced people want to see the back of compulsory tendering. At the same time, however, the EU continues to work steadily towards a treaty on services that will only make the problems worse.

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10 May 2017

'ECB subsidy for banks and multinationals is madness’

Why does the European Central Bank pump a cool €60bn per month in debt securities into banks and corporations when that money does not go straight into the economy? That was the most important question from SP Member of Parliament Renske Leijten to the ECB president, the Italian former investment banker Mario Draghi. Draghi is today visiting the Dutch Parliament on the initiative of the SP.

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10 May 2017

ECJ backs Citizens’ Initiative against TTIP

The European Commission should not have refused to accept the Citizens’ Initiative against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which on its final presentation had been signed by 3,284,289 people. This is the judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The SP welcomes the ruling, which points the way to an important role for Citizens’ Initiatives in strengthening democracy in the European Union.

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9 May 2017

A bit of respect for the British, if you please

Whether the British took the right decision when they opted to leave the European Union is primarily a question for the British themselves. In the European Parliament, however, some MEPs see the matter rather differently. They’re still in shock because for the very first time a member state wants to say goodbye. So they believe that Brexit must become a cautionary tale, with the British experiencing so much misery that in the future no-one will any longer dream of threatening to leave the EU.

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3 May 2017

Broad support needed in the fight against the European Commission’s plans for road transport

For years SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong has been doing his best to ward off European Commission plans to liberalise domestic road transport. Confronted with drivers’ tales of exploitation and oppression, Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc seemed persuaded, and the impression was created that measures would be taken. Yet now Europe’s transport unions are hearing that in reality Bulc is determined to go ahead with liberalisation. This would leave Dutch drivers, amongst others, out in the cold.

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30 Apr 2017

Kox: 'a stormy week in Strasbourg'

Foto: SP

'A week full of stormy debates and unpleasant events,' was how SP Senator Tiny Kox described the session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) which has just ended in Strasbourg. Kox, who is president of the United European Left group in the Assembly, was actively involved in a number of the week's dramatic events.

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