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Gap Between Dutch Rightwing Cabinet and Human Rights

by Oui Tue Aug 31st, 2021 at 10:47:07 PM EST

Dutch Cabinet is expected to allocate another 6 to 7 billion euros to reduce CO2 emissions

Lifting the lid on lobbying, enhancing trust in public decision-making in The Netherlands | Lobbywatch  - April 2015 |

Dutch society has little insight on who is lobbying whom, with what means and to what end. When undertaken with integrity and transparency, lobbying can be a legitimate way for stakeholders to access public policy development and implementation. But, with hardly any regulation, the lobbying landscape in the Netherlands is opaque. Lacking even a definition of lobbying, the discussion on the desirability of lobbying or regulation of lobbying is often bogged down in platitudes.

This lack of regulation does not mean that all lobbying happens in the dark. Nor does it mean that the lobbying sector is small or silent. On the contrary, it is an active and growing sector. This is partially due to the nature of Dutch politics, which can be described as continuously striving for consensus and the creation of broad-based support (the polder model). One reason for the increase in lobbying activity may be new forms of partnership between government and the private and non-profit sectors. The latter presents new challenges for public officials and politicians to make objective policy and decisions. This - combined with the fact that citizens actively wear several different "hats" and fulfil various roles as they contribute to society - may prove a risky combination, potentially leading to undue influence in decision-making.

Since the turn of the century, there have been some developments regarding the regulation of lobbying. In 2001, the largest association of lobbyists (BVPA, Beroepsvereniging voor Public Affairs), introduced a code of ethics for its members, and, in 2012, the House of Representatives installed a "Lobbyist Register".4 Both initiatives are limited in their effectiveness, however, due to their voluntary nature, their (practical) applicability and shortcomings in enforcement.

Furthermore, the integrity framework for public sector employees does not specifically cover lobbying-related issues; information about what lobbyists and decision-makers discuss is only piecemeal; and there are few rules on public disclosure regarding input from (informal) consultations, and even fewer on proactive disclosure by lobbyists.

The lobby by VNO-NCW against legislation on corporate accountability

For a long time, VNO-NCW, the national employers' federation in the Netherlands, has been a fierce opponent of legislation that obliges companies to address human rights abuses and environmental damage taking place in their value chains. Now that the introduction of such legislation appears inevitable, VNO-NCW, together with its European umbrella organisation BusinessEurope, is trying tolimit and weaken the substance of these new rules, as new research from SOMO on the lobbying tactics of both organisations reveals.

For years, civil society organisations and trade unions have been calling for the introduction of legislation on corporate accountability. Such legislation would make companies responsible for preventing and mitigating abuses in their value chains. Voluntary initiatives, such as the Responsible Business Conduct (RBC) Agreements in the Netherlands or philanthropic projects, have failed to prevent structural human rights violations and environmental damage - such as child labour, deforestation, and exploitation - taking place in global value chains. In 2020, responding to several critical policy evaluations, the Dutch government, the European Parliament, and the European Commission finally decided to introduce legislation that addresses corporate accountability.

Mark Rutte will do his utmost to frustrate the asylum procedure for Afghan interpreters and family members ... what an asshole! 😡

My earlier diary ...

Will Rutte's Falsehoods Catch Up With Him?

Germany's CSU minister Horst Seehofer on Syrian refugees ...

Angela Merkel, CSU's Horst Seehofer Clash Over German Policy for Migrants | WSJ - Nov. 2015 |

On Afghan asylum seekers ...

Germany warns EU against setting target of Afghan refugees


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Sep 2nd, 2021 at 09:45:56 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Sep 2nd, 2021 at 09:48:01 AM EST
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'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Sep 2nd, 2021 at 09:49:43 AM EST

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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Sep 2nd, 2021 at 09:58:48 AM EST
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the period between 17th and the 19th century and the consequences of Dutch colonial practices in Brazil, Suriname, the Caribbean, as well as South Africa, Asia and in the Netherlands itself.
by Cat on Sat Sep 4th, 2021 at 02:13:33 PM EST
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Belgium gained independence from Holland in 1830 ...

The Belgian Revolution was the conflict which led to the secession of the southern provinces (mainly Roman Catholic) from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands (Protestant North).

On February 5, 1885, Belgian King Leopold II established the Congo Free State as his personal possession. 

The stated goal was to bring civilization to the people of the Congo, an enormous region in Central Africa.

The people of the Congo were forced to labor for valued resources, including rubber and ivory, to personally enrich Leopold.
Estimates vary, but about half the Congolese population died from punishment and malnutrition. Many more suffered from disease and torture.

Demonstrations and protests demanded that Leopold end human rights abuses in the Congo Free State. In 1908, international pressure forced the king to turn the Congo Free State over to the country of Belgium.

English Missionaries and the Beginning of the Anti-Congolese Campaign in England

Belgium's reckoning with a brutal history in Congo

As protests following the killing of George Floyd in the US reverberated around the world this summer, Belgium, like many other countries, experienced its own reckoning: with a brutal colonial past, with the systemic racism that inhibits its black citizens today and with the question of what exactly it owes to the Democratic Republic of Congo, which it exploited for 75 years.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Sep 5th, 2021 at 07:34:11 AM EST
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feat. in HBO Max
by Cat on Mon Sep 6th, 2021 at 04:22:54 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Sep 2nd, 2021 at 09:51:05 AM EST

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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Sep 2nd, 2021 at 10:25:52 PM EST

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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Sep 5th, 2021 at 03:05:09 PM EST

The most goofy politician Thierry Baudet cries foul vaccines have no effect ...

Baudet speaks out against "fake vaccines" during anti-coronavirus measures protest

ICU corona patients are for 90% missing vaccinations.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Sep 5th, 2021 at 03:46:12 PM EST
Still in a caretaker cabinet six months after March elections ..,

Dutch supreme court upholds landmark ruling demanding climate action | The Guardian - Dec. 2019 |

The Netherlands' supreme court has upheld a ruling ordering the country's government to do much more to cut carbon emissions, after a six-year fight for climate justice.

The court ruled that the government had explicit duties to protect its citizens' human rights in the face of climate change and must reduce emissions by at least 25% compared with 1990 levels by the end of 2020.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Sep 6th, 2021 at 08:10:32 PM EST

Dutch politics is a real mess ...

Sigrid Kaag gave her vision for the first time on the state of affairs in the cabinet formation. "You are the most informed audience after tonight, because my notes for tonight are not that much different from my notes for the conversations at the formation table."

Without mentioning him, she lashed out at VVD leader Mark Rutte. Unlike Rutte, she does not see a 'cool country' at all. "For far too long we have been lulled into the numbness of complacency by political myopia."

The leader of D66 contrasted her party's liberalism with that of the liberal VVD. Instead of 'let it go' freedom, Kaag wants freedom 'in which we feel responsible for each other and in which we enable people to develop themselves as best as possible.'

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Sep 6th, 2021 at 10:14:34 PM EST
Ministers face motion of censure over Afghanistan evacuations

Ministers Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Affairs and Ank Bijleveld of Defense faced fierce criticism from opposition parties in parliament in a debate about the evacuation of people from Afghanistan after the country fell to the Taliban. During the debate, that ran well into the early hours of Thursday morning, all the opposition parties signed motions of censure against the two Ministers. The motions will be voted on on Thursday afternoon.

"No more smokescreens but accountability. And what did we get? Blockades, references to later evaluations, pointing the finger to others," PvdA parliamentarian Kati Piri said about Kaag's actions during the evacuations and response to parliamentary questions about it. She called Kaag's answers "completely unsatisfactory", when filing the motion of censure.

According to the opposition parties, "despite repeated warnings from the staff themselves", Kaag "acted too frivolously and too late" in helping the local staff members of the Dutch embassy in Kabul. As a result, they are stuck in Afghanistan and facing "serious danger". 

Bijleveld was accused of not executing motions from the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament. "That is a mortal sin, with disastrous consequences for the interpreters and other staff who worked for the Netherlands."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 06:56:13 PM EST
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Phone interview with Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld ... it's an uncertain situation in Afghanistan ... we'll start our planning and preparation for evacuation together with the German armed forces ... sometime between May and 11 September this should be completed ...

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by Oui (Oui) on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 05:00:26 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 06:59:58 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 02:08:38 AM EST
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For outgoing minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen there is nothing wrong with the switch to her new job as chair of lobby group Energie Nederland.

PM Mark Rutte ... congratulations!

Nieuwenhuizen's behavior shows contempt

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Sep 8th, 2021 at 09:51:03 PM EST
It appears in today's debate in Parliament the lacking legislation will be repaired to meet EU regulations on lobby ban period.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Sep 8th, 2021 at 09:51:55 PM EST
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176 Days after Dutch Election

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Sep 8th, 2021 at 09:57:41 PM EST
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Estate De Zwaluwenberg - owner Prins Bernard

Spending to day in leisure "working" on a breakthrough to form a new coalition cabinet ... the result has just been announced ... black smoke and we need a week for recovery ... to be continued over a week 😡

Informer Remkes wants to talk about content: 'Otherwise I'm done with it' | Sept.  8, 2021 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Sep 19th, 2021 at 12:10:38 PM EST

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