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9 December 2015

Smaling at the climate summit: The agreement in Paris

Foto: SP

SP Member of Parliament Eric Smaling is attending the climate summit in Paris. The aim of the conference is to reach a new agreement on the climate. This has to be in place in 2020, when the current treaty, the Kyoto Protocol, expires. Smaling will be sending a daily report of his experiences to the SP site.

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9 December 2015

´Ratification of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is good news'

Foto: SP

It’s good news that the Netherlands is set to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, says SP Member of Parliament Henk van Gerven. The convention provides that people with a disability must enjoy equal rights, as well as the same opportunities as any other individual.

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8 December 2015

Harry van Bommel: Enquiry needed into possible trial of Bouterse in the Netherlands

Foto: SP

If former army chief Desie Bouterse is not going to be prosecuted in Suriname for the December Murders, the Netherlands’ Public Prosecutor should take the job on, argues Harry van Bommel.

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8 December 2015

Anne-Marie Mineur: How the opponents of a climate agreement got such a very big platform

The big shots have left the climate summit, so the real work can now begin. Last week the world’s leaders gave fiery speeches, speeches which made the front pages. Behind the scenes officials worked day and night on a new proposal for a negotiating text. This text reads like a sort of menu: the ingredients are to hand, now choices have to be made.

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7 December 2015

Van Bommel: Fundamental discussion on future of EU needed

In the first half of 2016 the Netherlands will take its turn in the European Union’s six-month rotating presidency. According to SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel, the presidency is an excellent chance to launch a fundamental discussion on the future of the European Union. ‘Many people have turned their backs on the European project because they feel it’s far too forced. Because of that they’ve lost their faith in what national politics can mean for them. But the government is sticking its head in the sand and acts as if debates about “more Europe” or “less Europe” were so much waffle. A missed opportunity.’

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5 December 2015

XXIst Congress: We’ll do it

Foto: SP

Who’ll be the new party president? To outsiders, it seems that this is all the twenty-first SP Congress is about. And the departure of Jan Marijnissen, of course. But the nine hundred and forty SP representatives are gathered in the De Fabrique conference centre in Utrecht on 28th November to decide the party’s future. The contest between the two candidates to succeed Jan certainly gives a big push to the discussion around that future.

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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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