Study days to explore Dutch perspective on animal welfare, labour rights and the environment

GUE/NGL MEPs are today heading to the Netherlands on a study trip hosted by the Group’s Dutch MEPs Anja Hazekamp (Party for the Animals/Partij voor de Dieren) and Dennis de Jong (the Socialist Party Socialistische Partij). 

The visit, coinciding with the end of the Dutch presidency of the Council of the European Union, begins in the afternoon with a session in Amsterdam about intensive livestock farming and animal transport co-chaired by MEPs Anja Hazekamp and Miguel Viegas. Director of Eyes on Animals Lesly Moffat  and Peter Stevenson, chief policy advisor for the NGO Compassion in World Farming are the experts invited to elaborate on the issues for debate. 

The second session focuses on fracking with guest speakers Annemarie Heite, founder of Stille Beving, and Mikel Otero of Fracking EZ. The debate is co-chaired by MEPs Anja Hazekamp and Estefania Torres Martinez. 

On day two the GUE/NGL delegation visits the first trade union house in the Netherlands, De Burcht, to hear an address by Ron Meyer, President of the Socialist Party, with opening remarks by MEP Dennis de Jong. 

A discussion will follow on asylum and migration policies lead by Laurens Ivens, the alderman of the city of Amsterdam, exploring a local government perspective on the issue. 

The afternoon on Wednesday will be spent in Rotterdam with a thematic focus on labour rights, starting with an exchange of views with the Customs office followed by a meeting with the Harbour Union Secretary General Niek Stam. 

The study trip ends with a meeting with truck drivers. Edwin Atema is the campaign leader for FNV Transport & Logistics and he will give a presentation on the problems faced by workers in his sector. 

The GUE/NGL study days are organised twice a year in the member state holding the EU Presidency with the purpose of understanding local perspectives on pressing issues.