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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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3 May 2016

Breakthrough as Timmermans agrees to give more information on lobbyists’ influence

Foto: SP

On 2nd May the European Parliament hosted a meeting on the introduction of a compulsory transparency register for lobbyists.

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28 April 2016

Harry van Bommel: Turkey’s repression crosses the line

Freedom of expression and of the press have been under pressure for some years in Turkey, a fact confirmed by the World Press Freedom Index published annually by Reporters Without Borders. In 2014 Turkey recorded a poor result, but fell further last year to as low as 151st, only 29 off the bottom position, and lower than Venezuela, Russia or Tadzhikistan. In comparison the Netherlands came second.

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28 April 2016

Merkies summons ECB boss Draghi to Dutch Parliament

European Central Bank (ECB) head Mario Draghi must appear before the Parliament of the Netherlands to give an explanation of his policies. A majority in Parliament’s main legislative chamber voted on Thursday to support SP Member of Parliament Arnold Merkies’ proposal that Draghi be summonsed. Explaining the move, Merkies says ‘Draghi increasingly talks like a politician, yet no-one elected him. It’s time that he answered for his policies in front of representatives of the people.’

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28 April 2016

Belgian French-speaking region votes to put brakes on CETA

The Walloon Parliament – the regional assembly which represents the inhabitants of Belgium’s French-speaking southern region – has voted to reject the signing of CETA, the trade treaty recently concluded between the European Union and Canada. As a result, Belgium will be obliged to abstain whenever the subject is raised in the European Council, the body which directly represents the heads of EU member state governments. With their vote in the regional parliament, which enjoys extensive powers under Belgium’s federal system of government, the Walloons have dealt the treaty a hefty blow.

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27 April 2016

TTIP-'transparency' adds very little

The SP has reacted critically to the attempt by the European Commission to increase transparency in relation to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Pact, the TTIP. The publication on the state of affairs in the TTIP negotiations includes little relevant new information and only serves to show how far the treaty remains from completion.

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26 April 2016

Van Dijk: Stop TTIP and CETA

Foto: SP / SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk at the presentation of the manifesto against the TTIP and CETA

Negotiations over the neoliberal trade treaties TTIP and CETA must be immediately halted, SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk said in today’s debate with Trade Minister Lilianne Ploumen. "The TTIP is a constitution for multinationals," Van Dijk argued. "Europe will be flooded with American products if this treaty goes through. A race to the bottom in relation to wages, working conditions and consumer protection will clearly be the result. American corporations, moreover, will be able to lodge claims for millions of euros if the Netherlands introduces laws which threaten their profits."

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23 April 2016

Kox: Tensions between Russia and Europe must be reduced

Foto: SP

It is unintelligent and dangerous to continue to exclude Russia from international political fora, as has been the case in recent years. Russia is not only the country with the world’s biggest landmass, but also the most important neighbour of many of the rest of the world’s biggest hitters, bordering as it does on Europe, China, Japan and the United States and lying close to India and the Middle East. If relations between Russia and its neighbours are good, the whole world benefits. That’s why both Russia and Europe should be making more efforts to improve their mutual relations. The world can no longer allow the present tensions to persist. So said SP Senator Tiny Kox, chair of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) United Left Group, during a visit to Moscow.

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