Worldlog Week 10 – 2012
A debate was held in the Lower House last week in the lead up to the European Summit held on 1 and 2 March. We are for European cooperation but against the current undemocratic structure of the European Union. The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) treaty, which is still to be ratified, is a clear example of the lack of democracy, transparency and support in the EU. My colleague Esther Ouwehand argued during the debate for a need to hold a referendum on the controversial ESM treaty.
Ratification of the ESM treaty will mean the Netherlands surrendering a portion of its financial sovereignty to Europe. We want the Dutch population to be consulted on the transfer of more powers to Brussels before the Lower House commits itself to (excessively) far-reaching financial agreements. The Irish government has since announced it will hold a referendum on the ESM treaty. Now the Netherlands!
With regards to Europe, the Party for the Animals believes that international cooperation can benefit people, animals, nature and the environment, but the manner in which Europe currently works means that people, animals, nature and the environment are actually worse off. As things stand now, Europe’s democratic credentials clearly leave a lot to be desired. Europe must become more democratic and it cannot and should not be allowed to disregard what the people of Europe want.
During the debate, Esther pointed out that the Greek ‘bailout’ will have a disastrous effect on nature and the environment. The World Nature Fund recently sounded the alarm bell because the Greek government is planning to open new brown coal mines following pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Union and the European Central Bank (ECB), bodies which must first approve all financial reconstruction measures taken by Greece. A proposal from the Greek government aimed precisely to stimulate green energy was rejected by the IMF, the EU and the ECB. Furthermore, the Greek Green Fund is to be fleeced further. Particularly disappointing is that the measures being implemented seem to fly in the face of European treaties for the protection of nature and the environment.
Last week we also announced our opposition to the Dutch government further expanding trading ties with Russia and China as long as these countries refuse to take a position on the violence being used by president Assad against the civilian population of Syria. The Dutch government wants the EU to call upon the Syrian regime to end the violence immediately and for president Assad to resign. While we support the Dutch government in this regard, we must bear in mind the close trading ties the Netherlands has with Russia and China, the two countries that have up to now blocked the UN Security Council from passing any resolutions condemning the violence against civilians in Syria.
The Netherlands does not want this shocking fact to influence its trading policy and still regards China and Russia as countries with which it should seek even stronger trading ties. This year, various trading missions are planned to both China and Russia with the aim of boosting opportunities for the export of Dutch products, particularly agricultural products, to these countries.
Good news from Japan! Amazon Japan is ceasing the sale of whale and dolphin meat. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) was successful in convincing Amazon Japan to remove the wide range of whale, dolphin and porpoise meat from its webshop. Amazon Japan probably also sold the meat of dolphins slaughtered in the Japanese coastal town of Taiji, the subject of the film The Cove. You can view the film online http://www.eia-international.org/ and http://www.thecovemovie.com/
I end with a wonderful film that highlights the care of a mother caiman for her young! So soon before I give birth myself (I am due this week), this film has a special appeal for me 😉
I will write again soon! Marianne