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23 February 2015

Feed people, not petrol tanks

On Tuesday 24th February a vote will be taken in the European Parliament Environment Committee on the EU’s rules governing biofuels. Tighter regulation is badly needed, because biofuels are a great deal less sustainable than is commonly thought. For their production you need agricultural land, which is necessary to provide sufficient food to feed us all. This explains why the SP voted in favour of tightening the rules.

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12 February 2015

Merkies: High time for a debate on our monetary system

At the initiative of SP Member of Parliament Arnold Merkies, Parliament will shortly hold a debate on monetary policy. ‘It’s time that as politicians we don’t only look on from the sidelines, but continue to consider the fundamental questions concerning our monetary system,’ Merkies says. ‘How should we organise our monetary system? And how do we maintain control of it? All of these issues appear now to be taboo in the political arena.’
 

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12 February 2015

Harry van Bommel and Jasper van Dijk: Arms fair no place for minister as Middle Eastern arms market experiences explosive growth

Later this month Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert will travel to the United Arab Emirates (UEA) to participate, along with a number of Dutch firms, in a major arms fair. On purely economic grounds this event would be of great interest, as for export of armaments this region forms an explosive growth market. Despite this, the Minister would be better staying at home. There are already huge numbers of weapons in the Middle East and the painful reality is that these weapons are pushing the region rapidly down into the abyss.

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10 February 2015

TTIP ‘Secret Council’ neither democratic nor transparent

Foto: SP

The way in which the European Commission wants to hand the pass on legislation straight to corporate business is causing the SP great concern. New proposals regarding the free trade treaty with the United States, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), remove democratic control from the people’s representatives and draw a line through the independence and transparency of our laws and regulations.  

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5 February 2015

SP Senator Kox: Act together to stop a new Cold War

Foto: SP

'Now that others are promoting confrontation, left forces in Europe must resist this and do our best to restore peaceful cooperation. The population of Europe does not want to see a new Cold War. We should listen to the people and actively answer those who irresponsibly dedicate themselves to building a new wall across Europe.’ These were amongst the arguments presented by SP Senate leader Tiny Kox, during a working visit to the European Parliament in Brussels.

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4 February 2015

There’s a bad smell to Malmström’s breath of fresh air

The SP is urging external trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström to pay immediate attention to the request from five environmentalist organisations to be allowed to see negotiating texts relating to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the proposed free trade treaty with the United States. The NGOs have lodged a complaint with the European Ombudsman, referring in this to the 2001 Treaty of Aarhus, which guaranteed to the public the right to be involved in decision-making on environmental legislation. In the SP’s view, this complaint should not have been necessary.

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3 February 2015

De Jong: Timmermans must withdraw proposal on protection of company secrets

The European Parliament has commenced consideration of a European Commission proposal on the protection of company secrets. In the SP’s view, this is an unnecessary and dangerous measure, as Euro-MP Dennis de Jong explains: ‘In public consultations 75% of respondents were against, but the Commission is stubbornly sticking to its ideas. They are trying to improve protection of company secrets, not only against commercial misuse, but also by restricting access to such information on the part of national authorities, whistle-blowers and investigative journalists. There simply isn’t any need for a proposal of this kind.’

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1 February 2015

Harry van Bommel and Arnold Merkies: Greeks are setting an example

The election result in Greece demonstrates unequivocally that voters are seeking alternatives to the heavy-handed austerity policies imposed by Brussels. The European Union’s neoliberal course forces the public to foot the bill for a crisis which they did not bring about, and which merely increases tensions between north and south. Syriza’s victory should give cause for all European politicians to consider a different financial and economic policy in the EU, argue Harry van Bommel and Arnold Merkies.

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30 January 2015

SP Senator Kox: 'A new Cold War is scandalous’

Foto: SP

Speaking against the prolongation of the denial of voting rights to Russia, SP Senator Tiny Kox, president of the United Left Group in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) said, 'The renewed suspension of Russia’s voting rights, and the consequent breaking by Russia of remaining relations with the parliaments of forty-six other European states, has brought a Cold War closer. I sorely regret the fact that Europe’s biggest platform for parliamentary diplomacy has allowed itself to be dragged along in the call for stiffer sanctions. These simply make relations with Russia more wretched and a solution to the civil war in Ukraine even more difficult. Parliamentarians who go along with this bear a heavy responsibility. I’m pleased that in the name of the Left Group in the Assembly I have been able to oppose this unnecessary and dangerous performance.’

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