27 May 2015

Commission well wide of mark in proposal for relocation of asylum seekers

The European Commission today presented its proposals for binding European legislation on the relocation of asylum seekers away from Italy and Greece to other EU member states. The SP shares the wish to see more solidarity amongst the member states, but criticises the current proposal for its lack of balance. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong, responding to the proposal, said, “With the criteria which the Commission applies the main thing is the number of inhabitants in each member state and their standard of living. Yet the number of inhabitants in itself tells you nothing about a country’s capacity to accommodate asylum seekers if the geographic size of the state in question isn’t taken into account. I don’t expect the member states will find the present criteria acceptable either.’

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23 May 2015

Van Dijk: 'Stranglehold Agreement TTIP will put an end to democracy’

On Saturday afternoon a demonstration took place in Amsterdam against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a proposed treaty between the European Union and the United States which will undermine social standards and curtail democrpatic rights. The SP was represented at the demonstration and SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk was amongst those who addressed the crowd gathered on Amsterdam’s Beursplein. This is an extended summary of what he said:

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23 May 2015

SP Senator Kox: Care needed in Eastern Europe

Foto: SP

Now that tension is rapidly rising in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the international community will have to be careful not to repeat the mistake of attempting to impose solutions from outside of the country. It’s up to the citizens and government of Macedonia to put an end to the political chaos and prevent a violent escalation. On an initiative of the political group led by SP Senator Tiny Kox, the United European Left, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) this week met in Sarajevo to hold extensive talks about the serious political disruption afflicting Council of Europe member state Macedonia.

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21 May 2015

European Parliament introduces certification for conflict minerals

Foto: Julien Harneis from Goma

The European Parliament is to introduce compulsory certification for the import of raw materials from war zones. This will mean that importers will be required to declare that the raw materials in question were mined in a responsible manner. The SP is delighted that the Parliament defied a fierce lobby and voted to approve a compulsory certification system.

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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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