Monday, November 23, 2015 - 13:24
Dutch refusal to host U.S. Congressmen a “slap in the face”
The Netherlands has refused to host a delegation of the United States Congress for the biannual Transatlantic Legislator's Dialogue - a meeting between the representatives of the U.S. and the EU to discuss international issues affecting both regions. The U.S. calls this refusal a "slap in the face", the Volkskrant reports. "This is a slap in the face of the U.S. Congress. It is important that this continues, especially now", Mario Diaz-Balart, delegation chairman and member of the House of Representatives, said according to the newspaper. He added that they have not received a formal cancellation. "Terrorism, Syria, the TTIP treaty, intelligence and privacy issues call for European-American cooperation." According to the newspaper, Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs sees no sense in holding this meeting in the Netherlands, because he finds it too expensive and his officials find it too much hassle. "It is not a question of us wanting to cancel meetings or indicate that they should not take place. But we would like to stick to the standard practice that such meetings are held in Brussels since 2007", the Ministry said. But according to the newspaper, this is not exactly true. The past 77 Transatlantic Legislator's Dialogue meetings were held alternately in Washington and the capital city of the current EU president, which will be the Netherlands in the first half of next year.