15 May 2015

EU must not turn its back on Armenia

Foto: SP

This week SP parliamentary foreign affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel is in Armenia at the head of a Dutch delegation. Prior to the visit, he wrote the following piece about the relationship between the EU and Armenia, and the opportunities offered by the future. His article was published in an Armenian newspaper and is reproduced in translation below.

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13 May 2015

European Migration Agenda unrealistic

The European Commission today presented the new European Migration Agenda. The SP’s European Parliament group is unimpressed, as group chair Dennis de Jong explains.

‘Just beyond the EU’s external frontiers the world is in flames. Every day, people have to be rescued from the Mediterranean Sea. The Commission is still using for this task border guard services whose personnel are specially trained to keep people out. The Commission has, moreover, produced no solution to the problems refugees, and this European Migration Agenda (EMA) is once again contradictory: restrictive when it comes to people in need, and an open immigration policy for the well-educated. This will only increase the number of migrants heading towards Europe.´

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12 May 2015

New Shift to the Right in Israel

Is international pressure the last chance for a free Palestine?

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10 May 2015

The European Military-Industrial Complex

EU heads of government will meet to discuss (amongst other things) defence cooperation. They will without doubt point to the need for increased defence efforts due to the unstable situation on Europe’s external borders. This week European Defence Agency (EDA) chief Jorge Domecq gave a more honest account in the European Parliament. The real reason for doing more on defence is to keep high-tech companies from leaving Europe. In short, the military-industrial complex is back, or rather it never went away.

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9 May 2015

Poland and Estonia still keeping an eye out to the East

By Eric Smaling - In these turbulent times it’s hard to decide which foreign news most preoccupies you. The refugee boats on the Mediterranean Sea, the caliphate of ISIS, the refugee camps in and around Syria, the earthquake in Nepal, Boko Haram, the ever more precarious situation in Yemen, the rapprochement between the US and Cuba, or Ukraine? And without the appalling fate of the MH-17 and its passengers, would Ukraine still stand so high on the list?

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7 May 2015

Kox rounds off Turkish pre-election research

SP Senator Tiny Kox, accompanied by four other members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), travelled to Turkey to assess the lay of the land in the runup to the approaching elections. They have now completed their pre-election observation and produced a report.

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6 May 2015

Digital market must put consumers and small businesses first

European Commissioner Andrus Ansip today published his strategy for the Digital Internal Market, his major area of responsibility. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong was critical of the initiative. ‘It’s mainly major corporations which have been urging this, but the strategy is of less importance to the consumer and to smaller firms,’ he said, adding that ‘these are precisely the interests which in this matter it is my task to secure. We should not be reducing protection for the consumer and the small firm must not be saddled with all sorts of bureaucratic rules.’

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6 May 2015

New Malmström TTIP proposals are ‘a smokescreen’

Foto: Nemo

Proposals for a new arbitration system in the free trade treaty with the United States are no more than a smokescreen, SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur said today during a meeting with European Commissioner for External Trade Cecilia Malmström. The Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) is the most controversial aspect of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and a possible stumbling block in the negotiations. Yet the revised version presented today by Malmström does nothing to address the fundamental objections.

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30 April 2015

European alcohol strategy is incomprehensible decision by European Parliament

The European Parliament this week voted by a large majority to approve a new strategy on alcohol. A proposal originally intended to improve information to consumers regarding the food value of alcoholic drinks has become a far-reaching health policy aimed at alcohol abuse. This is the umpteenth attempt by the European Union to grab more powers.

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