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24 June 2016

British referendum points to need for a different EU

Foto: SP

The result of the referendum in the United Kingdom demonstrates that the EU cannot continue on the same path, according to SP European affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel, who called the British decision to leave an ‘irreversible change for the European Union’. The most important lesson to be drawn from this referendum is in Van Bommel’s opinion the fact that, under pressure, negotiation space will open for fundamental transformation of the EU. “The Netherlands should take its example from this and put our demands for such a change on the negotiating table,” he says.

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23 June 2016

The European Union must be transformed

Foto: SP

The Brexit referendum serves to remind us that multinationals and neoliberal ideas have acquired too great an influence on the European Union, write Harry van Bommel and Dennis de Jong. They want to see drastic transformation.

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14 June 2016

Our King’s wrestling in Brussels

On 25th May King Willem-Alexander gave a speech to the European Parliament. My fellow SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur and I went along for the occasion and paid careful attention to what he had to say. We were witness to a wrestling match: “Of course I’m a europhile,” said the monarch, “but I also indeed see that we have to take into account those who stay at home.” Further than that our head of state, though, did not go.

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8 June 2016

Harry van Bommel: Learning from the failed ‘War on terrorism’

In March the Internationale Spectator published an interesting article on the Netherlands’ foreign policy by Han ten Broeke, Member of Parliament and foreign affairs spokesman for the governing centre-right party, the VVD. The article is, however, way off beam when it degenerates into an apologia for the disastrous military action carried out under United States leadership since the attacks of 9/11.

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8 June 2016

European Commission must not open talks on air transport treaties with Gulf States

Foto: Darice

The Council of European Union Transport Minister yesterday adopted a negotiating mandate indicating that they wished the European Commission to conclude air transport treaties with a number of countries including Qatar and Turkey, countries which massively subsidise their airlines. While the Council, which directly represents the member states, dictates policy, the Commission will now have the task of working on the details of the treaties. SP Euro-MP immediately placed a number of critical questions on the mandate to European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc.

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7 June 2016

Senate rejects far right PVV’s discriminatory proposal by huge majority

Foto: SP

The Senate today distanced itself by a huge majority from a proposal from the far right PVV to exclude 1.3 million Dutch citizens from jobs with the police, judicial services and defence forces on no other grounds that they hold dual citizenship. The exclusion would apply to all such citizens, without exception. SP Senate leader Tiny Kox expressed his delight at the Senate reaction to this scandalous PVV proposal, which goes against the Constitution, fundamental rights and traditions of the Netherlands.

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6 June 2016

No means no !

In a referendum on 6th April the Netherlands gave a clear ‘no’ to the European Union-Ukraine Association Agreement. The government now appears to be interpreting this clear negative as offering a great deal more room for manoeuvre.

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31 May 2016

SP proposal on forced prostitution wins Parliament's support

A parliamentary majority has given its support to a legislative proposal from the SP, the Labour Party and the Christian Union which will make men who use prostitutes, despite knowing or having grounds to suspect that the latter have been trafficked, liable to prosecution. SP Member of Parliament Nine Kooiman answers three questions on the proposed law.

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28 May 2016

SP urges mailing campaign to Stop TTIP & CETA

Foto: SP

Today is National Action Day in the Netherlands against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and US, and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada. These two treaties give a free hand to corporations and show no concern for workers’ rights, sustainability or safety. Democracy in the Netherlands and Europe hangs in the balance.

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