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27 May 2016

‘Take more measures against illegal Israeli settlements’

Foto: SP

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel is urging the Minister of Foreign Affairs to take additional measures to counter illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. “It’s a good thing that products from the settlements can no longer be sold in Dutch supermarkets with misleading labels which give the impression that the products come from Israel,” says Van Bommel. “But as long as Israel continues to extend the settlements and the occupation of Palestinian territory is maintained, more far-reaching measures will be needed. That’s why I’m advocating that an end be put to investments by pension funds such as ABP in Israeli banks which provide mortgages to colonists, enabling the further enlargement of the settlements.”

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25 May 2016

New EU proposals on digital market still fail to meet needs of consumers and small firms

Foto: SP

The European Commission today presented new proposals for the digital market. The proposals will affect all on-line purchases. While the proposals do take into account the interests of smaller firms and of consumers, they fail to offer an immediate solution to a number of practical problems, as SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong explains: “The Commission wants to harmonise all of the rules governing on-line purchases and create one big market. There’s nothing illogical about that, but because they want to deal with everything at once, there’s a danger that real problems for smaller firms and consumers won’t be resolved.”

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25 May 2016

SP: Drop the Trade in Services Agreement

Foto: SP

The European Union should withdraw from the negotiations on the TiSA, the Trade in Services Agreement. This was the SP’s response to the latest leaked document concerning the treaty. Sections published on the WikiLeaks website show that the right of national governments to determine their policy would be put in serious jeopardy by TiSA, which would also force state-owned enterprises to conduct themselves as if they were private corporations.

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25 May 2016

Support the real entrepreneur

Foto: SP

On 23rd May the SP organised a special day in Parliament dedicated to small businesses and their operators. During the meeting the chair of Dutch small business organisation MKB Nederland, Michaël van Straalen, was presented by SP leader Emile Roemer with a new report from the party, 100% Hart voor de Zaak. The report – whose title is a play on words: ‘hart voor de zaak’ is an expression meaning ‘fully committed’, but ‘zaak’ can also mean ‘business’ – sets out the line which the SP has been following for ten years and puts forward a large number of proposals for how the true entrepreneur can be supported. According to Van Straalen the SP is the only party to organise such events. In his view the report includes many excellent points.

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25 May 2016

Change to sustainable society goes hand in hand with employment

Foto: SP

SP Member of Parliament Eric Smaling is urging the government, in the wake of the Paris climate accord, to make some progress towards the change to a sustainable society. Alongside this, Smaling argues, it’s important that employment remains a priority and that there are sufficient and training and retraining opportunities. On Tuesday, a parliamentary majority supported this proposal. “We need to work hard on making society sustainable,” says Smaling. “In this change we need to prioritise measures which give people the opportunity to participate and which generate employment and maintain purchasing power.”

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19 May 2016

Struggle for human rights in Azerbaijan deserves support

SP Members of Parliament Harry van Bommel and Michiel van Nispen , together with party colleague Senator Tiny Kox, met today with Azerbaijani human rights activists Leyla and Arif Yunus and their daughter Dinara. The meeting focused on the appalling human rights situation in the country.

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14 May 2016

TTIP bad for people on low incomes, bad for the environment

Foto: Anne-Marie Mineur

The TTIP will not help people in lower income groups to make progress, and could possibly even harm them, as consumer prices rise. In addition, the TTIP will increase coal consumption by 0.3% and gas consumption by 0.2% and lead to a growth in CO2 emissions of between 0.2% and 0.3%. Furthermore, the TTIP presents a threat to the agreements on climate signed late last year in Paris. The SP has drawn these conclusions from the draft environmental report published by the research bureau Ecorys, which examines the sustainability of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership currently under negotiation by the European Union and the United States.

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10 May 2016

SP calls on European Commissioner Thyssen to stand firm in combating exploitation

Today it will become clear whether sufficient member states have shown the yellow card to European Commissioner Marianne Thyssen’s Posted Workers’ Directive. Under the yellow card procedure, member states can vote to send proposals back to the Commission for reconsideration. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong explains: “If there is indeed enough support for the yellow card procedure, the Commission will be forced to rethink its proposals. The objectors are primarily central and eastern European member states who clearly don’t mind their workers being subject to exploitation when they are posted to another EU country. In the European Parliament I’m hoping to collect as many signatures as possible on a letter to Thyssen calling on her to stand by her proposals.”

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7 May 2016

Anne-Marie Mineur: If Malmström means what she says, she has to put an end to TTIP

Foto: CC

European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström won’t give way to the Americans’ desire to lower our standards, and nor will she accept products on our market that fail to fulfil these standards. Malmström made these statements in response to last Monday’s TTIP leaks. If she’s speaking the truth, then it would be better if the Commission were to halt the negotiations. The question is, does Malmström have another agenda?

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