30 September 2015

SP: Ban MEPs from moonlighting

In the wake of the Volkswagen fraud and the ensuing debate on the close links between the auto industry and the European Union institutions, it has emerged that Hans van Baalen, Member of the European Parliament for the bigger of the two Dutch governing coalition parties, the centre-right VVD, was on the Mercedes-Benz payroll. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong, commenting on the revelations, said: ´Van Baalen has given up his job on the side and so at first glance he is not in formal conflict with the current rules. The code of conduct for Euro-MPs does set limits, for example when you are the EP rapporteur on a subject, but beyond that you can have as many paid jobs outside the Parliament as you like. At the moment review of these internal rules is on the EP agenda, and as chair of the European Parliament transparency network, I would say that paid moonlighting jobs should be banned as soon as possible, because an end must be put to the cosy relationship between, for example, the automobile industry and Euro-MPs.’

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27 September 2015

445,000 signatures for a referendum on EU treaty with Ukraine

Foto: SP

‘Geen Peil’, a coalition of organisations and individuals which includes the Citizens’ Committee-EU and the Forum for Democracy, has collected in excess of the 300,000 signatures required under Dutch law for a referendum on the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union. It is likely that the referendum on the national law approving the treaty will be held early in the new year.

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24 September 2015

Syriza must not succeed: The true nature of neoliberal Europe

The SP is in solidarity with the Greeks, yet voted against a support package. The ‘support’ in question was a neoliberal straitjacket. Slowly the realisation is dawning: ever more people are beginning to see that lies have been told about Greece; ever more people are beginning to see that the European Union has little time for democracy and social politics.

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24 September 2015

Panic in Neoliberalia

There’s something going on in the world’s most important bastions of neoliberalism. In the United States and Great Britain, socialists stand ready to take power in the Democratic and Labour Parties.

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23 September 2015

Romanian gold mine pollution reveals spectre of TTIP

A report on Dutch TV on Monday evening on the struggle around a gold mine in Romania demonstrated once again the massive threat posed by the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) to democracy, the rule of law and the environment, says SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur.

Mineur wants to know from European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström whether in the future such things will still be possible, either under the arbitration plans contained within the proposed treaty with Canada, or under the new variant of the arbitration system, the ISDS, which the Europe Union is currently negotiating with the United States.

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21 September 2015

The Left

In 1993 I was in the US to look at the state of the country after ten years of neoliberal policies, as well as the position of the left in American politics. On that subject, I also had a meeting with the only independent member of the House of Representatives, Bernie Sanders. In the meantime he’s joined the Democratic Party and is creating a furore with his clear, left language. Mrs. Clinton’s pretty nervous about that.

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20 September 2015

SP congratulates Syriza

Grote klasse! (First rate!) That’s how SP leader Emile Roemer greeted Syriza’s fresh election victory in Greece. At Sunday’s parliamentary election, Alexis Tsipras’ party attracted a third of the votes cast, leaving it as the country’s clear biggest, well in front of the conservative New Democracy. From tomorrow, Prime Minister Tsipras can begin assembling a new government for Greece.

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18 September 2015

Kox: 'Those who recently slept, are waking up in fear’

'Politicians who are now crying that the whole world is fleeing to Europe and that we can’t cope, are causing panic instead of tackling problems. Although we’re elected to look ahead, they had their eyes closed when elsewhere the refugees flooded in as a result of war and other wrongs. In Jordan, in Lebanon, in Turkey, in Kenya. They took no notice when these countries had too little money to guarantee decent accommodation, for water, food, shelter and schooling. As a result these people now trekked further in search of safety and security. A small minority of the sixty million refugees worldwide want to come to Europe. And those who have recently slept are waking up in fear and want to build a fence around Europe. What I say is “get on with your work for once instead of frightening people.”’ So said SP Senator Tiny Kox this week during the annual informal meeting of European Parliament and Council of Europe group presidents.

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17 September 2015

“New” ISDS system no solution to fundamental problems

European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström is continuing down the wrong path with her arbitration system – the Investor State Dispute Settlement system (ISDS), according to SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur. Mineur’s reaction came in response to the elaboration of the plans, which Malmström published today. She sees no improvement, she says, in comparison to the Commission’s previous version. Referring to respondents to the Commission’s ‘consultation’, she said that “the fundamental criticism from 150,000 people was that the ISDS represents a separate system of justice for foreign corporations, and this has not changed. The improvements are purely cosmetic. Malmström must scrap the ISDS. It’s not needed.”

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