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11 April 2019

'Enhanced legitimacy, credibility, impact, and relevance': SP Senator's resolution improves working of Council of Europe

Following hours of debate and months of preparatory work, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) this week agreed to proposals from SP Senator Tiny Kox aimed at improving the functioning of the Assembly and the Council of which it forms part.

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11 April 2019

SP urges introduction of compulsory visas for Albanians

Foto: No attribution

The SP believes that Albanians should be required to apply for visas to enter the Netherlands. SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk made this proposal during Thursday's parliamentary debate on the high rate of criminality amongst Albanian visitors to the country. Since 2014 Albanians have been able to enter the Netherlands freely as a result of the liberalisation of visa regulations, and this has led to an enormous upsurge in crime. This applies to relatively small-scale offences such as shoplifting and pickpocketing, and more serious matters like dealing in hard drugs, extortion and people-smuggling. This has been accompanied by a rise in demands for asylum from Albanians, applications which are very rarely successful because Albania is regarded as a safe country. Visa liberalisation occurred as a result of many EU member states' determination to accept Albania as a member of the European Union in the foreseeable future, despite the country's high levels of destitution and corruption.

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10 April 2019

EU Brexit negotiator has to go

Foto: kalhh

The entire process around Brexit has become a piece of political kitsch, according to SP Member of Parliament Renske Leijten. Leijten was speaking in Wednesday's parliamentary debate on the Brexit postponement. She applauded the fact that the British were to be given a longer period to make possible a plan which can find a majority in the House of Commons. “To date what we've seen is a political poker game, and a massive atmosphere of panic being created,” said Leijten. “What at the same time is going unmentioned is that the European Union's attitude has also contributed to the current impasse.”

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29 March 2019

NATO must be subordinate to the UN

With NATO in decline and an independent EU military force seemingly still far off, a new alliance is needed, one that could better monitor and protect global peace and security. The United Nations and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) can play an important role in this.

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27 March 2019

Brexit Law excludes Parliament from deliberation

With an eye on Britain's departure from the European Union, the Dutch government has been given a mandate by Parliament to take measures, should they see it as necessary, without the approval or involvement of the legislature, even if these measures go against current law. In the view of SP Senator Bastiaan van Apeldoorn, Parliament should not be cooperating in its exclusion in this way, which is why the party voted against the Brexit Law during yesterday's session. “Of course the SP approves of the government making preparations for Brexit and what Brexit will mean for the Netherlands,” says Van Apeldoorn. “This law, however, gives far-reaching emergency powers to the government without giving any decent definition of an 'emergency'.”

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26 March 2019

National parliaments to move to adopt effective rules for authors' rights

The European Parliament today adopted the now notorious directive on authors' rights. The SP abstained in the vote. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong explains: “It remained a difficult decision right to the end. As I wrote recently, it's important to us that artists receive a fair reward for their creativity. But we don't want to see disproportionate filters when you upload something. Unfortunately we weren't successful in having the directive completely clarified on this point. The intention was good, to make the tech giants pay artists for their products. The SP will continue to work for this in the Dutch Parliament. But this directive was still so unclear that we felt we had to abstain.”

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26 March 2019

How do you manipulate public opinion?

Precisely twenty-six days after the attacks of 11th September 2001, the American and British air forces began their bombardment of Afghan targets. The 'war on terror' had begun. The SP was the sole party in the Dutch Parliament to condemn both the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on the one hand, and the bombing of Afghanistan on the other. In the Dutch media too there was virtually unanimous support for the bombardments. Where did this consensus have its roots?

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22 March 2019

Put an end to the blockade of Gaza. Stop the occupation of Gaza

At the end of last month, a UN Human Rights Council committee of enquiry published a hard-hitting report on Israel's seriously disproportional violence carried out last year against Palestinian demonstrators on the border with Gaza. Almost two hundred Palestinians have been killed by Israel and thousands wounded.

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20 March 2019

Strong peace movement is urgently needed

Two major concerns characterise the current political era, a period that began at the start of the 1990s with the fall of the Soviet Union. The permanent war, for the most part waged in Asia and Africa; and the abiding need to put an end to nuclear arms. Now that the INF treaty has been abrogated, the struggle against nuclear weapons must be taken up again, and powerfully.

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