27 November 2015

Smaling: sustainability and employment must be priorities during climate summit

Next week, the Climate Summit will take place in Paris. A hundred and eighty countries will discuss measures to mitigate the rise in global temperatures, the aim being to ensure that storms, drought and flood don’t begin to dominate our lives. In order to achieve that, emissions of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, must be greatly reduced. The summit is an excellent opportunity to make progress towards moving from a fossil-fuel based to a sustainable society. The sooner, the better.

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25 November 2015

What should we expect from the Paris Climate Summit?

Foto: inACtion

At last the moment has arrived. Previous gatherings were no more than the prelude to this final summit in Paris. At least that’s what the environmentally aware world citizen expects. He or she realises only too well that a drastic change of course is needed in the extremely short term if the worst is to be prevented.

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19 November 2015

The answer to discord is unity

Foto: SP

'We won’t allow ourselves to be driven apart. Dutch citizens, men and woman, Muslims and non-Muslims, have shown over the last few days: our answer to division is unity. The cowardice of terror will never defeat the resilience of a free society.’ So said SP leader Emile Roemer during Thursday’s debate on the attacks in Paris. Below you can read the text of Roemer’s speech.

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17 November 2015

SP versus PvdA: How can the crisis be over, when the Netherlands has more than 600,000 unemployed?

In the Dutch Senate the SP has clashed with the PvdA – the Labour Party - the centre-left component in a government headed by the centre-right VVD, over Labour’s claims that the crisis is now definitely behind us.

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17 November 2015

Only a UN Peace Conference can save Syria and Iraq

The chaos in the Middle East seems complete. ‘Seems’, because things could get even worse now that the Russians have entered the fray. ‘Only an international peace conference with all of the parties involved can save the region.’

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14 November 2015

SP leader Roemer: ‘Appalling Paris attacks are beyond comprehension’

SP leader Emile Roemer has reacted with horror to the attacks in Paris. ‘What happened in Paris is beyond comprehension,’ he said. ‘ We mourn the victims, and grieve along with their loved ones, and with all Parisians.’

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13 November 2015

European Commission threatens to introduce TTIP without democratic approval

Foto: SP / TTIP demonstration, Strasbourg, 10th June, 2015

Without even giving the European Parliament the chance to vote on it, the European Commission can allow trade agreements such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) to enter into force provisionally. The SP views this as unacceptable, and for this reason has issued an urgent appeal to the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, to refuse to ratify such agreements until not only the European Parliament but also the national parliaments have had the chance to study their contents.

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11 November 2015

European Parliament must keep its nose out of our electoral system

The European Parliament today adopted a number of proposals aimed at gradual harmonisation of the member states’ electoral procedures. The SP is dead against any and all such proposals, believing that European Union members must remain free to design their own systems. Commenting on these developments, SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong said, ‘Unfortunately a majority in the EP still don’t get the fact that people aren’t anxious to see still more meddling from Brussels. Electoral systems are pre-eminently a national responsibility. Today’s result is a powergrab by European political parties and has nothing to do with strengthening democracy.’

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10 November 2015

European Court of Auditors is right: change of direction needed when it comes to EU expenditure accounts

This year the European Court of Auditors (ECA) has once again declared itself unable to approve the accounts of expenditure from the European Union’s various funds. The grounds for the Auditors’ decision are that the proportion of errors – 4.4% - was far above the acceptable margin of 2%. The ECA is, furthermore, concerned about the member states’ capacity to make effective use of the funds. Commenting on the matter, SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong says: ‘It’s crazy that new airports have been built simply to get the money spent. In only 50% of projects was an investigation carried out into whether there was any need for the facility. No wonder that only one in three of the airports built with EU money has proved profitable. In every project the need which it meets should be clearly stated, along with the added value gained from EU financing. In particular the question as to whether a project would be realised without such European support is asked far too infrequently. This is a matter of taxpayers’ money. A results-based approach could save a great deal of costs.’

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