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4 June 2018

Breakthrough for passengers' rights

Foto: Spoorjan

The Internal Market Committee today adopted by an overwhelming majority the proposals from SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong aimed at bringing about an enormous improvement in rail passengers' rights. Explaining the measures, De Jong said: “You can miss your connection because your first train is running late, and as things stand passengers are often left in the lurch, but if this legislative proposal is adopted, the company which sold you the tickets for the entire journey will be obliged to ensure that you reach your destination as soon as possible.”

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4 June 2018

The can of worms at KPMG will be opened anyway

Some questions are very obvious to be asked, but aren’t asked anyway – like the question why Wouter Bos led the conversations to form a new government in 2012. The former PvdA Minister of Finance became a partner at KPMG after his departure in 2010. It’s a good thing if politicians quickly get a new job after their political career, but I thought this position was remarkable. With this transfer, a lot of sensitive information from the Ministry of Finance came into the hands of this international accountancy firm, which advises companies on how to bend the financial rules.

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31 May 2018

The Netherlands must levy own taxes on tech giants

There is currently an absolutely justified call for digital giants such as Facebook and Google to be made to pay taxes on their extremely lucrative activities. It's therefore to be welcomed that the European Union's member states and the European Commission are looking for an effective way to achieve this. Now that it turns out that the proposals from Brussels fall well short of what is required, however, the Netherlands must set an example for other countries to follow and impose its own taxes on these corporations' activities, argue Mahir Alkaya and Renske Leijten.

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29 May 2018

Trade treaty with Latin American countries a threat to public health

The trade treaty between the EU and a number of Latin American countries, those which make up the trade association Mercosur, presents a threat to European public health. It cannot be ruled out that more 'salmonella chicken' will end up on the European consumer's plate. For this reason the treaty should be immediately rejected, argues Anne-Marie Mineur, MEP.

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29 May 2018

Don't travel to Afghanistan

Take a look at the travel advice on the Dutch government's website, and you'll see the same warning repeated at least seven times: don't go to Afghanistan. Armed attacks and incidents happen almost daily, often with police officers or soldiers as their target, but in places where many people gather. However, turn to another section, the one headed 'Official Communication -, Afghanistan', and you can read the policy concerning the return of refugees who have been refused asylum, though only after ninety pages of information on restrictions of human rights. There you will see that forced deportation of refugees to Afghanistan is indeed possible. The absolutely justified advice on travel does not therefore seem to be valid for Afghans themselves. This is, to say the least, most peculiar.

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29 May 2018

European networks won't prevent radicalisation, work on the ground will

The European Court of Auditors today presented a Special Report on the effectiveness of the European Commission's activities aimed at tackling radicalisation that leads to terrorism. Commenting on the report, SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong said: “The Court of Auditors confirms what everyone actually already knows, that talking shops in Brussels won't prevent radicalisation. It demands an approach through work in the neighbourhoods. The most you can do at European level is to draw up agreements to remove texts from the internet that encourage terrorist violence, but beyond that it's mainly a matter of finding out on the ground what is going on in vulnerable neighbourhoods. That's not something that the European Commission can or should do.”

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28 May 2018

Palestinians urge Europe to increase involvement in Middle East crisis

Foto: coolloud

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki last week paid an official visit to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The minister is urging the Court, of which Palestine is a member, to investigate whether Israel is guilty of human rights abuses in the Palestinian territories which it occupies. This is a grave request.

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23 May 2018

Aid? Self-interest, more like

On Friday, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag presented her policy note "Investeren in perspectief", ('Investments in prospect'), in which she sets out her plans for development aid and trade policy. What was striking about this was that Kaag, who has in the past received high praise for her knowledge of her subject as well as her international experience, was obliged to stick within the neoliberal lines laid down by Prime Minister Mark Rutte's 'Rutte III' government.

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22 May 2018

EU Council must be transparent

Foto: SP
SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur is urging the European Council to make the mandates for two far-reaching free trade treaties immediately public. The Council today empowered the European Commission to open negotiations on the free trade treaties with  Australia and New Zealand. The mandate for the negotiations is broad and includes, amongst other things, trade in goods and services, and access to public tenders. Read more

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