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20 October 2016

Malmström’s Fourth ‘Interpretative declaration’ is an insult to democracy

The SP is completely unimpressed by the ‘interpretative declaration’ which European Commissioner for trade Cecilia Malmström is offering in response to the justified objections which four Belgian regional parliaments – representing respectively Walloons, Francophones, German-speakers and the capital region of Brussels – have raised against the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Without the approval of the Walloon Parliament, currently withheld, Belgium cannot agree to it, and this will mean that the European Union will also be unable to agree to the treaty.

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19 October 2016

French-speaking Belgians put brakes on CETA

Belgium has the fate of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and Canada in its hands. Last week the Walloon Parliament, representing the French-speaking region of the federalised country, voted to reject the controversial treaty, because of fears of unfair competition and of the undermining of democracy. In doing so Wallonia expressed the concerns of millions of Europeans and hundreds of social organisations.

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14 October 2016

CETA is more and more an empty shell

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada is more than ever an empty shell, and the decision of the German Constitutional Court in its favour as well as the haste with which the European Commission has given the treaty its approval, are starting to acquire laughable proportions. The SP is opposed to the agreement in its entirety, but suggests that at the very least the verdict of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) should be awaited.

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13 October 2016

No support for CETA

Foto: SP

On Thursday the SP organised a public hearing on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreeement (CETA) between the EU and Canada. Some ten experts were in attendance, including legal specialists and representatives of the Netherlands' two main trade union federations, the Consumers' Association and the country's major environmental group, Milieudefensie. The conclusion was unambiguous: there are so many objections to the current CETA Treaty that it must be rejected.

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11 October 2016

Jasper van Dijk: CETA annex no more than a sop

While the TTIP negotiations have been postponed, the implementation of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada has been fast-tracked, with the treaty’s signing having been fixed for 27 October. CETA comes down to TTIP via the back door, because most US corporations have subsidiaries in Canada. Major claims for damages can therefore be made just as easily against the Netherlands via CETA as via TTIP. That’s why we are demonstrating in Amsterdam on 22 October and why we are calling on trade minister Lilianne Ploumen not to approve the agreement.

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8 October 2016

Ronald van Raak: Democracy still in danger in Curaçao

The gambling industry continues to run the former Dutch colonies of Curaçao and Sint Maarten. The islands, now autonomous regions of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, must escape from under this shadow if they are to become mature democracies.

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8 October 2016

Senator Kox on Moroccan elections : Most of the population stayed away

Foto: SP

On Friday, in an atmosphere of calm, Morocco's citizens elected a new parliament. At least, that was true of that section of the population that bothered to vote. The biggest party, however, were those who stayed at home, with less than a quarter of all Moroccan adults going to the polling booths. SP Senator Tiny Kox was present as an observer for the Council of Europe. “It was young people who more than any other group that stayed away,” he said. “They are certainly interested in what's happening, but have little confidence that the existing political parties are capable of tackling the great problems faced, or even want to do so “.

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7 October 2016

EU is bartering away its own values

Foreign Minister Bert Koenders is correct when he says, as he did last week in this newspaper, that Europe can only work if countries hold to their agreements. So it would also be right for him to address Polish and Hungarian leaders on the subject of their reprehensible performance in relation to the refugees and the two countries’ attempts to wriggle out of a fair division. The referendum called by Hungarian Prime Minister Orban on migration quotas was even more despicable, because Hungary was asked to make only a modest contribution and take a total of 1,294 refugees. But if we want a Europe in which human rights really do come first, limiting oneself to a moral appeal to countries which care nothing for such matters makes no sense.

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5 October 2016

SP: Binding declarations do nothing to improve CETA

Foto: SP

The binding declarations which the European Commission is seeking to formulate have no legal worth and will not help get rid of the problems of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada, according to renowned Canadian lawyer Steven Shrybman of Goldblatt Partners. SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur argues that only a resumption of negotiations on the text of the treaty can make a real difference.

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