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23 May 2017

Senate debates Association agreement with Ukraine

Today the Dutch national Senate debated the European Union’s Association Agreement with Ukraine. Below is an edited version of the contribution to the debate of SP Senator Bastiaan van Apeldoorn. The Senate will return to the issue on May 30th when it votes on whether to accept the treaty.  

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21 May 2017

Mineur: People in Sri Lanka deserve more than paper progress

SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur recently visited Sri Lanka. The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is an island in the Indian Ocean to the south of India. With a population of 22 million, it relies heavily on its textile and clothing industries, which account for 70% of the country’s exports, with the US as its principle customer and the EU in second place. A war which lasted for years between the Tamil Tigers and the Singhalese-dominated government ended with the Tamil Tigers’ surrender in 2009, but this failed to bring about real peace or equal treatment for Tamil citizens. It was human rights abuses following the surrender which led to suspension by the EU of its special trade relationship with Sri Lanka, known as GSP+. The renewal of GSP+ is being questioned by Sri Lankan textile workers and others who challenge the EU’s claims that workers’ rights have improved.

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20 May 2017

Sadet Karabulut: Stand up to Trump’s war policies

During the US presidential campaign Donald Trump gave the impression that he was the antiwar candidate, especially when set against his opponent, the hawk Hillary Clinton. He attacked, for example, the billions of dollars swallowed by American wars which, in his stated opinion, just led to more terrorism, more dead, more bodies. The US billionaire also stated, in contrast to some other candidates, that war and aggression would not be his first instincts. This was, together with his intention to normalise relations with Russia, one of the few attractive elements of what was otherwise a worrying and regularly even bizarre campaign.

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19 May 2017

Parliament votes to support SP proposal to restrict advertising aimed at children

On the initiative of SP Member of Parliament Peter Kwint, MPs today voted to oppose the European Union to broaden what is allowed in advertising aimed at children. “Brussels wants advertisers to be able to aim their message at children when a programme is on which isn’t specifically for them, but is nevertheless watched by large numbers of children,” Kwint explains. “I don’t know why. The interests of children are far more important than those of the  multinationals who want, for example, to advertise unhealthy junk.” 

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17 May 2017

European Patent Office must respect workers’ rights

Foto: doevos

On 16th May the Dutch Parliament voted in favour of a motion proposed by SP Member Maarten Hijink and the PvdD’s (Party for the Animals’) Esther Ouwehand asking the government to ensure that employees of the European Patent Office (EPO) can take their employers to court in the Netherlands.

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16 May 2017

EU Court rules trade treaties must be approved by member states

Foto: SP

National and regional parliaments must approve free trade treaties before they can definitively enter into force. That is the gist of the position taken by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), the highest European Union court, which the European Commission had asked for clarification. What this means is that numerous comprehensive treaties negotiated by the Commission over recent years will now have to be presented to thirty-eight parliaments throughout the EU, giving the member states more power to halt controversial agreements.

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15 May 2017

The military approach is counterproductive ‘A new Cold War seems to have broken out’

SP Member of Parliament Sadet Karabulut, foreign affairs spokeswoman for the party, is calling on people from across the continent to join her at the demonstration in Brussels on the 24th and 25th of May against the aggressive bombing policies of Donald Trump and NATO. “Sometime you get the impression that NATO won’t let any chance go to pour more oil on the flames,” she says.

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11 May 2017

Anne-Marie Mineur: European tendering is a disaster for the Netherlands and the EU wants to make it even worse

In the national daily NRC on May 4th, councillors from Rotterdam’s ruling coalition sounded the alarm about the obligation to put local health care out to tender across the European Union. Their most important objection to the public procurement law is that private care-providers from other countries will lack local knowledge, and that the duty to tender across Europe is creating an enormous bureaucratic burden. Experienced people want to see the back of compulsory tendering. At the same time, however, the EU continues to work steadily towards a treaty on services that will only make the problems worse.

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10 May 2017

'ECB subsidy for banks and multinationals is madness’

Why does the European Central Bank pump a cool €60bn per month in debt securities into banks and corporations when that money does not go straight into the economy? That was the most important question from SP Member of Parliament Renske Leijten to the ECB president, the Italian former investment banker Mario Draghi. Draghi is today visiting the Dutch Parliament on the initiative of the SP.

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