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16 Dec 2016

Whitewash on Ukraine treaty cheats voters

Foto: SP

With his deal on the European Union’s Association Agreement with Ukraine, Prime Minister Mark Rutte is cheating those who voted to reject the treaty at the referendum on April 6th. “This deal is a shameless whitewash,” says SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk. “The voters gave a crystal clear result at the referendum. They said ‘No’ to the Association Agreement. The only correct option was therefore to reject the treaty.”

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14 Dec 2016

SP welcomes Belgian request for Court ruling on CETA

Foto: unknown

The SP has welcomed Belgium’s decision to move swiftly to ask the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to rule on parts of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada. Particularly concerning is the arbitration system which forms a section of the treaty, a system which is extremely controversial and in the view of many experts, including academics and judges, could be in conflict with the European system of law. The European Parliament recently refused to request such a judgment.

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14 Dec 2016

Commission must at last be open about anti-corruption policy

Foto: European Parliament / Plenaire vergaderzaal EP in Straatsburg.

In a joint declaration, the European Parliament’s cross-party Intergroup on Integrity, Transparency, Corruption and Organised Crime and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have called on the European Commission to at last exhibit openness about its anti-corruption policy. The call was also supported by Council of Europe body the Group of States against Corruption, known by its French acronym of GRECO. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong, who is co-chair of the Intergroup, explained that “not only with the European Parliament but also in the UN and the Council of Europe the Commission has nothing to say about the reports on combating corruption in the EU, and in particular within the European Union institutions. In holding its tongue in this way the Commission is giving licence to countries both inside and beyond the EU to join them in failing to meet their reporting obligations.”

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14 Dec 2016

Tiny Kox: Premier Rutte pulls dead rabbit from his hat to force through Ukraine treaty

After months of foot-dragging Dutch Prime minister Mark Rutte must give a clear answer to a simple question. Is the government going to ratify the European Union Association Agreement with Ukraine or not?

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12 Dec 2016

The rule of law is not a campaign tool

Foto: SP

On Friday I decided not to react to the guilty verdict in the trial of Geert Wilders, the far right leader arraigned for leading a chant calling for Moroccans to be deported. As a politician in a democracy it isn’t your place to comment on the judicial power. We do after all have a separation of powers in the Netherlands, and however tempting it may sometimes be, it behoves us to keep our views to ourselves.

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11 Dec 2016

European Parliament Employment and Social Affairs Committee backs resistance to CETA

Foto: SP

CETA will cost the European Union 204,000 jobs and create sectoral distortions which will lead to long-term unemployment, according to a ruling by which the European Parliament Employment and Social Affairs Committee rejected the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada. The Committee voted to endorse an extremely critical report from    Bulgarian social democrat Georgi Pirinski.

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9 Dec 2016

SP wins Parliament’s support to give substance to development cooperation with Africa

Thanks to proposals from the SP, Dutch development aid to Africa is about to be given more substance. Half a million euros will be spent on intensifying the work of the LAND Partnership, which helps governments to create a reliable registration system for land rights.

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8 Dec 2016

Parliament backs SP proposal for more intelligent approach to soft drug regulation

Foto: SP

From 2017 soft drugs – basically, cannabis and its derivatives –should be subject to more intelligent regulation. A parliamentary majority supported the SP’s proposal to this effect. Implementation would put an end to the current bizarre situation under which the open sale of cannabis is tolerated, yet its purchase by vendors – the euphemistically named ‘coffee shops’ – is illegal. SP Member of Parliament Nine Kooiman points out that “as things stand coffee shop operators are forced to do business with criminals. The government must stop creating crooks and instead concentrate its attention on public health and on prevention.”

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6 Dec 2016

Emile Roemer: Time for a Plan B for the Euro

Foto: SP

European cooperation is a fine idea. But a line must be drawn through Brussels’ meddling and the further development of a European superstate, with its total freedom for big capital.

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