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4 December 2015

Free trade agreements sabotage climate treaty

Foto: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration / Wikimedia Commons

Confidential European Commission papers leaked via WikiLeaks show that a transition to sustainable energy is being explicitly sabotaged in negotiations on the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA.) In the chapter on energy-related services, making any distinction between sustainable and non-sustainable energy is forbidden. This means that the Netherlands, once the treaty has entered into force, will be obliged to open its market to any and every kind of energy, regardless of whether it is sustainable, produced from fossil fuels or even from nuclear power. The door will also be wide open to shale gas and tar sands oil. Commenting on the revelations, SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur says, “The whole world is looking in on the climate summit, hoping for an agreement which is good for everyone. This is being completely undermined behind the scenes by this services treaty, which is perhaps even more far-reaching than the TTIP.”

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4 December 2015

Parliament supports SP proposals for a more social world

As many as three of SP Member of Parliament Eric Smaling’s proposals to improve development policy this week won majority support in the ‘Tweede Kamer’ (Second Chamber), the legislature’s equivalent of the House of Commons or House of Representatives. Commenting on the successes, Smaling said: ‘Three proposals relating to emergency aid, health care and education for the very poorest people were adopted. With these proposed measures we’re addressing not only emergency aid in the event of natural disasters, but also two of the root causes of poverty in developing countries.’

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3 December 2015

Sadet Karabulut: Stop treating Islam as a case apart

If all Dutch citizens are individuals with the right to self-determination, why are some groups addressed as an alleged ethnic-religious collectivity? If Social Affairs Minister Lodewijk Asscher wants to see integration and emancipation, why, when it comes to questions of religion and integration, does he speak with foreign governments or their representatives in the Netherlands? If Asscher is to take his own words seriously, he shouldn’t be pursuing an ethnic-religious policy but a policy of integration. Integration policy begins with self-determination and with ceasing to cooperate with ethnic-religious interlocutors who are precisely the people who stand in integration’s way.

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1 December 2015

Investigation into Turkish action needed

Below is the text of a letter sent by SP Member of Parliament and spokesman on foreign affairs Harry van Bommel to the national daily newspaper Trouw.

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1 December 2015

Parliament supports SP: more clarity needed on development spending

A majority of MPs today voted to support a proposal from SP Member of Parliament Eric Smaling for more clarity regarding the budget for development policy. ‘International solidarity is high on the SP’s list of priorities,’ says Smaling. ‘For that reason it’s of great importance to us that every euro of development money is spent effectively. I’m delighted that Parliament has supported my call for more transparency.’

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1 December 2015

Van Bommel: December Murders trial must be resumed

Foto: SP

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel is determined to see the legal action concerning the so-called December Murders in Surinam resumed. In December of 1982, fifteen young men, well-known as active opponents of the then dictator of the former Dutch colony, Dési Bouterse, were tortured and killed following a series of arrests. ‘Since the adoption of the amnesty law these proceedings have been in a sort of legal vacuum,’ says Van Bommel. ‘It needs to be rapidly brought out of that situation, because this kind of serious human rights abuse should not qualify for impunity.’

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28 November 2015

SP leader Emile Roemer concludes XXI SP Congress: ‘In unity we work for a better world’

Foto: SP

‘Today we have concluded a long and extensive discussion within the party. From this will come tasks for the whole of the SP, tasks to make the party even stronger, even broader and even bigger. ‘ So said Emile Roemer at the close of the SP’s 21st Congress.

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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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