21 February 2019

The last word

On 23rd February, the SP party council elected the new lead candidate for the list which the party will put forward at the European elections in May. Although the European Parliament will continue in its present composition until 2nd July when the newly elected MEPs are installed, this seems to me a good moment to bring these monthly Tribune columns to a close. From now on the campaign must be to the fore.

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20 February 2019

SP success: European Fire and Emergency Service voted down

The SP has thrown a spanner in the works of plans to establish a European Fire and Emergency Service. A motion from SP Member of Parliament Michiel Van Nispen instructing the Dutch Minister of Justice and Security not to vote in favour of the establishment of such a service has been adopted by majority vote. Rejection was necessary in order to put a halt to EU interference in national affairs. Following the drawing of the Netherlands into participation in a European Public Prosecutors Office, the EU now wants to set up what it calls 'RescEU', to deal with major fires and other catastrophic events throughout the member states and, if necessary, beyond. Commenting on the proposal, Van Nispen said, “This prestige project would cost more than €200 million of taxpayers' money, money that would be used to pay for fire engines, hoses, rescue teams, field hospitals and emergency medical units, all of which would then be stationed somewhere in Europe. Yet the utility of and need for this has not been demonstrated at all.”

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18 February 2019

Dialogue with Venezuela better than intervention

The Netherlands must have nothing to do with regime change in Venezuela, argues Bastiaan van Apeldoorn, SP senator and professor of global political economy and geopolitics at the Free University of Amsterdam.

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18 February 2019

'A coup is a coup and violence is violence'

SP Member of Parliament Sadet Karabulut argues that Het Parool's Bas Soetenhorst misrepresented her views on Venezuela in his recent column.

On Monday 4th February, Journalist Bas Soetenhorst devoted a column in this newspaper to my party's standpoint on Venezuela, a column in which he made a number of misleading statements.  

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13 February 2019

Singapore treaty is a sell-out to multinationals

The SP has major concerns about the European Parliament's decision to vote in support of the investment treaty with Singapore. The treaty opens the door to foreign investors looking to speculate on our financial markets. In particular, opening state bonds to foreign investors is a recipe for disaster.

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12 February 2019

European public prosecutor, European fire brigade – what next?

Criminals and natural disasters don't respect borders, so member states need to cooperate in order to catch villains and help each other in the event, for example, of forest fires and floods. That doesn't mean that we should hand over control, leaving criminal investigations and prosecutions, as well as the combating of disasters, to Brussels. The newly established European Public Prosecutor’s Office threatens to increase Brussels' meddling. And that goes now also for the establishment of a European fire service.

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1 February 2019

Climate Law Yes, Shell Agreement No

Last December it was announced on social media that the SP had voted to support the climate agreement, despite SP leader Lilian Marijnissen having just spoken against it. 'Hypocrite' was a relatively mild imputation in response. But was the accusation true?

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31 January 2019

Make the polluter pay

Foto: SP

People are annoyed that their energy bills are rising and that they are being chased up to pay the costs of the range of climate change measures which have to be taken. For this reason the SP has proposed an alternative, fairer source of the necessary finance: the major corporations, responsible for 80% of pollution, should pay more tax. Many have spoken about this, but the SP has put forward a concrete proposal, one which we have subjected to analysis by the independent environmental service CE Delft. What does this show? Even a minimal tax on the polluters would mean that 70% of the Dutch population, people on low or middle incomes, would gain.

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29 January 2019

Termination of the INF Treaty must be prevented at all costs

At the beginning of December the United States gave Russia sixty days, of which only five now remain, to come into line with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. Should this not happen, the US will withdraw from the treaty, and this could lead to a new nuclear arms race in Europe and further escalation of the new Cold War. This must at all costs be prevented. Nothing less that Europe's security and, in the worst case scenario, the continued existence of humanity, are at stake.

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