Thursday 27 February 2014
Europe's string pullers

Who really has the ruling power in Brussels? Today two Europe correspondents publish 'Europe's string pullers, who is really ruling Brussles', a very exciting crisis book that is written like an economic thriller, and that reveals the way the economic crisis was managed. According to Jean-Claude Juncker the book is an 'inside analyses of the Brussels microcosm that rightly warns for extremists and egoists'.

Saturday 22 February 2014
Chemical arms watchdog split on Syria delays

The executive council of the Hague-based watchdog tasked with destroying Syria's chemical weapons arsenal failed Friday to reach agreement on what to do about Damascus's delays, because of divisions between Syria's allies and the West.

Thursday 20 February 2014
Amsterdam to invest €90m in new bike parking

In Amsterdam bicycle usage has grown by more than 40% in the last 20 years. Collectively Amsterdammers currently cycle 2 million kilometres every day. Overcrowded cycle racks everywhere in the city are beginning to adversely affect accessibility. The Amsterdam municipality has decided the accelerated introduction of additional measures and invest €. 90 million on 40,000 new bike parking places.

Wednesday 19 February 2014

The centre-left Socialists & Democrats Group is set to be the biggest political formation in the next European Parliament according to the first PollWatch 2014 predictions. In the Netherlands the predictions show that Geert Wilders’ PVV will not win more than five seats. His far-right group including the French Front National, could win 38 seats, but they will need to secure members from seven European countries.

Tuesday 18 February 2014

With the approval of the European Commissioner Damanaki of extra licenses for fisheries using the sustainable pulse trawl technique, Dutch minister Dijksma will undertake an extensive pilot program. As a result 42 extra cutters may use the pulse trawl to catch flatfish. To Greenpeace the pulse trawl technique is not sustainable at all, because the fishermen still use huge dragnets.

Monday 17 February 2014

In the monthly newsletter the Dutch Association for Relaxing Companies (VER) complains about the fact that local Christian parties misuses prostitution to gain votes in their campaign for the upcoming local elections on March 19. They want to help prostitutes by a total ban on prostitution and by making visiting a prostitute an offence. Is the criminalisation of sex buyers becoming a new trend in Europe?

Friday 14 February 2014
Better regulated than clandestine cannabis

In an essay in the Dutch Volkskrant Derrick Bergman, spokesman of the Association in favour of lifting the Cannabis ban (VOC), reacts to a column that was published earlier this month. The column was about the manifesto from 35 Dutch mayors that want to start experiments with regulated cannabis cultivation. Berman takes the edge off most of the arguments and comes up with some interesting facts.

Friday 14 February 2014
Dutch solution to floods: live with water, don't fight it

Some say that the flood-hit communities in Britain face their wettest start to the year for 250 years. The Dutch are the water-, dikes- and flood specialists and it seems England now needs their expertise to get rid of the water and to learn how to live with the water. Enormous Dutch pumps are pumping water back into the sea, and an interesting Dutch innovation is the successful water square, created to store water during heavy rainfall. 

Thursday 13 February 2014

This year the Netherlands will be hosting the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague. On 24 and 25 March the Netherlands will welcome 58 world leaders, 5,000 delegates and 3,000 journalists to the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), the largest gathering of its kind ever held in the Netherlands.

Thursday 13 February 2014
Euthanasia for youngsters

Today Belgium will change its euthanasia legislation. By removing the age limit it will be possible for children to ask for euthanasia. In the Netherlands young people already had the possibility to ask for euthanasia. The Dutch association of voluntary euthanasia lately started a study group for youngster to brake the taboo to talk about the ending of life.

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Socials Affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher said Tuesday that ‘appropriate measures’ are needed to avoid problems the Dutch had with immigration in the past. One of the measures is the introduction of ‘participation declaration’ immigrants arriving in the Netherlands, also European citizens, need to sign.

Friday 7 February 2014
Dutch would be 'better off' if they left the euro

There are big economic benefits for the Dutch in leaving the EU, finds a major study. The independent study was commissioned by Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch anti-EU Freedom Party, to assess the cost for the Netherlands of leaving the EU as he leads national opinion polls in the run up to European elections.

Thursday 6 February 2014

The Dutch Minister for Agriculture Sharon Dijksma has signed a Ministerial Declaration with Denmark and Germany at the trilateral governmental conference on the protection of the Wadden Sea, currently being held in Denmark. The three Wadden Sea countries have made agreements about the development of the Wadden Sea, sustainable tourism and fisheries, preservation of biodiversity and the protection of migratory birds.

Monday 3 February 2014

While the Dutch integrated approach to preventing corruption and bribery could serve as a model to other EU countries, the Netherlands should still do more to improve transparency in politics, the European Commission said on Monday. This is the Commission's first report on measures to combat corruption within the EU which costs the European economy some €120bn a year.