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8 June 2015

With no political solution on offer, ISIS mission is doomed to fail

Foto: SP

In the absence of a political solution, the military mission in Iraq is doomed to fail, according to SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk in response to what he observed on his two-day visit to the Dutch armed forces in Iraq and Jordan. ‘The Netherlands’ efforts offer no solution to the enormous problems in Iraq,’ he insists. ‘This must first and foremost address the structural exclusion of Sunnis from political power. As long as Sunnis don’t have the full influence they should enjoy, military deployment is pointless. Furthermore, the western military presence increases the chances of renewed violence against Europe and the United States.’

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7 June 2015

Turkish Elections: Left Kurdish party attracts enough votes to guarantee seats

Provisional results of the Turkish parliamentary elections indicate that left Kurdish party HDP has succeeded in exceeding the 10% minimum threshold for representation.

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6 June 2015

SP Senator Kox: Attacks threaten Turkish elections

The Turkish Parliamentary elections held today have been overshadowed by the large number of violent attacks that have occurred in the country. On Friday four people were killed and over a hundred wounded in a bloody bomb attack on a mass meeting of the left Kurdish party HDP. HDP has been the main target of attacks, but is by no means the only group which has had to cope with a wave of violence over the last few weeks. SP Senator Tiny Kox, who heads an international team of election observers sent to Turkey by the Council of Europe, told Turkish media that the upsurge of violence represents a threat to free and fair elections. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu made a similar declaration, while HDP Chair Selahattin Demirtaş called on supporters to keep calm. Who is behind the violence remains unclear, while parties continue to accuse each other.

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3 June 2015

SP Senator Kox: Turkish parliamentary elections unusually exciting

‘The Turkish parliamentary elections on 7th June promise to be exceptionally tense and exciting. The ruling AK Party is attempting to win a two-thirds majority, while the left Kurdish party is doing its best to get above the extremely high electoral threshold of 10% and social democrats and nationalists are shouting about how they’re going to put an end to the dominance of the governing party, whose founder Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is now Turkey’s President.’ So says SP Senator Tiny Kox, who heads an international team of observers from the Council of Europe. Days after the election he will be in Ankara to present the observation’s findings.

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1 June 2015

The new SP agenda for development cooperation

Foto: SP

The SP’s new agenda for development cooperation will appear shortly. Five subjects will occupy centre-stage in this statement: emergencies, health care, youth, money and ‘green’ - the environment. SP Member of Parliament Eric Smaling and SP official Ben van Gils lay out the new agenda step by step.

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28 May 2015

Mineur: European Parliament ignores social protest against TTIP

Today the European Parliament External Trade Committee voted on sections of the trade and investment treaty currently being negotiated between the EU and the United States. Despite massive social resistance to the establishment of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement system (ISDS), the Trade Committee voted in principle to support the ISDS. The fact that the social democrats voted to back the controversial system was in particular a painful aspect for the SP. In two weeks’ time the resolution will be voted on by the entire Parliament.

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27 May 2015

Commission well wide of mark in proposal for relocation of asylum seekers

The European Commission today presented its proposals for binding European legislation on the relocation of asylum seekers away from Italy and Greece to other EU member states. The SP shares the wish to see more solidarity amongst the member states, but criticises the current proposal for its lack of balance. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong, responding to the proposal, said, “With the criteria which the Commission applies the main thing is the number of inhabitants in each member state and their standard of living. Yet the number of inhabitants in itself tells you nothing about a country’s capacity to accommodate asylum seekers if the geographic size of the state in question isn’t taken into account. I don’t expect the member states will find the present criteria acceptable either.’

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23 May 2015

Van Dijk: 'Stranglehold Agreement TTIP will put an end to democracy’

On Saturday afternoon a demonstration took place in Amsterdam against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a proposed treaty between the European Union and the United States which will undermine social standards and curtail democrpatic rights. The SP was represented at the demonstration and SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk was amongst those who addressed the crowd gathered on Amsterdam’s Beursplein. This is an extended summary of what he said:

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23 May 2015

SP Senator Kox: Care needed in Eastern Europe

Foto: SP

Now that tension is rapidly rising in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the international community will have to be careful not to repeat the mistake of attempting to impose solutions from outside of the country. It’s up to the citizens and government of Macedonia to put an end to the political chaos and prevent a violent escalation. On an initiative of the political group led by SP Senator Tiny Kox, the United European Left, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) this week met in Sarajevo to hold extensive talks about the serious political disruption afflicting Council of Europe member state Macedonia.

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