The Netherlands is up to its ears in illegal ivory trade and therefore directly complicit in the mass slaughter of elephants in Africa, American network Avaaz and action group Elephant Action League conclude in a scientific study that will be published next month, AD reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte will be attending an informal European Union summit on migration on Sunday. This summit is intended to remove the irritations among various heads of government about the European migration policy, Rutte said in parliament. "It will be complicated", the Dutch Prime Minister said, NU.nl reports.
According to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, unity within the European Union is more important than ever in this time when international relations and alliances can no longer be counted on. The EU countries must remain united and not let themselves be played against each other, was Rutte's main message in his speech in the European Parliament on Wednesday. "Unity is the basis of our strength", Rutte said, NU.nl reports.
Dutch 18-year-olds can now apply for a free train ticket for a trip through Europe. This gift from the European Union is intended to "bring people together" and to show young EU residents that the European Union is "also about emotions, not just politics", according to initiator German MEP Manfred Weber, RTL Nieuws reports.
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On Monday Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs will explain the Netherlands and Australia's decision to formally hold Russia accountable for its role in the downing of flight MH17 to a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels. He is counting on unanimous support from the European Union on this decision, sources told newspaper AD.
Dutch people's confidence in each other and in the institutions increased almost across the board last year, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Monday. The Dutch have most confidence in the police with 74.5 percent saying they trust the police, and least in the church with only 31.2 percent.
The Dutch Data Protection Authority is losing employees in droves, Financieele Dagblad reports based on sources. This may cause problems at the privacy watchdog, especially given that the Authority now has more power and responsibility with the introduction of new European privacy laws.
According to FD, both Udo Oelen and Alex Commandeur - respectively the heads of the private sector and public sector at the Authority - both left recently, as well as two prominent investigators. And the Authority is having trouble attracting new staff to fill these positions.
Illegal cannabis cultivation in the Netherlands is far larger than previously thought, Statistics Netherlands said in a revision of old economic figures. According to the stats office, many more illegal weed growers remain below the police radar than previously assumed.
In 2015 the stats office assumed that 40 percent of illegal cannabis cultivators were caught by the police. But new information from the National Police indicate that its more realistic to assume that around 20 percent of weed growers are caught.
The Netherlands does not recognize the outcome of the elections held in Venezuela over the weekend, in which leftist president Nicolas Maduro was re-elected. "They were not free and independent elections", Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, RTL Nieuws reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte called the decision of United States president Donald Trump to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal "clumsy". The European Union leaders discussed this issue at an EU summit in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia on Wednesday, NOS reports.
Dutch retailers' association Detailhandel Nederland is calling on the Dutch government not to be too strict when implementing new European rules on electric car charging stations, ANP reports.
The new rules oblige retailers to have a minimum number of electric car chargers on their parking lots. But the association considers this obligation "superfluous". The association asks the government to make use of the room the European Union gives member states to fulfill objects at national level in their own way.
The Netherlands sees no sense in implementing more sanctions against Russia for its role in the situation in Syria, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said. "The only real solution for the Syrian conflict lies at the negotiating table", the Dutch Minister said, NOS reports.
Last year 4 percent of Dutch young people between the ages of 15 and 25 were not working or studying - the lowest percentage of all European Union Member States, Statistics Netherlands reported on Monday.
The European average for young people that are unemployed and not studying was 12 percent in 2016. No EU figures for 2017 are available yet. According to the stats office, the percentage of unemployed young people who are also not studying in the Netherlands has been around 5 percent for years. The EU average was also pretty much stable over the past years.
Increasing political contradictions, like saying that you have to choose between national sovereignty or cooperation in the European Union, are a threat to the European Union and to the Netherlands itself, Vice President of the Council of State, Piet Hein Donner, wrote with the presentation of the Council's annual report, the Volkskrant and NOS report.
State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven of Infrastructure and Water Management plans to implement around 100 extra measures to ensure that air quality throughout the Netherlands meets European standards, ANP reports.
French President Emmanuel Macron visited the Netherlands on Wednesday, in the run-up to a European sumit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday. He emphasized the strong bond between the Netherlands and France, but criticized the Dutch policies on corporate tax and pulse fishing, NOS reports.
King Willem-Alexander received the French president in an official welcome ceremony at Noordeinde Palace, after which Prime Minister Mark Rutte met with him. The two heads of state then gave a press conference together.
The European Union must do more to stop the undocumented migration of asylum seekers through Europe, State Secretary Mark Harbers wrote in a letter to the European Commission, the Telegraaf reports.
The government considers it a major problem that asylum seekers can freely travel virtually anywhere through Europe to get to the country where they want to apply for asylum. Because of this, the Netherlands is getting a disproportionate number of asylum seekers, Harbers said to the newspaper.
The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, wants to get rid of the European Commission's task force against spreading fake news, the so-called EUvsDisinfo. This follows the task force naming a number of Dutch news services as spreaders of fake news, Het Parool reports.
The Dutch news services involved are NPO Radio 1, the Gelderlander, GeenStijl and The Post Online. According to the task force, pro-Russian propaganda gained the upper hand in a few reports from these organizations.
Unlike French President Emmanuel Macron, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte doesn't want to push forward with integration in the EU. The EU is not an "unstoppable train speeding towards federalism", he said in a speech on his vision for the future of the EU in Berlin on Friday. He demanded that the Union works more for its Member States, instead of the other way around, the Financial Times reports.
With the municipal elections and a referendum on the new Big Data law for the Dutch intelligence services coming up in March next year, the Dutch government has taken an official stance against fake news and foreign meddling and is taking more steps to battle these attempts to influence public opinion in the Netherlands.
The European Union published its black list of tax havens. It consists of 17 countries the EU believes help multinationals and rich people avoid the tax authorities. The Netherlands does not appear on the list - no EU countries do. But Aruba and Curacao, which form part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, were placed on a "gray list" - they have two years to implement promised improvements, or they'll be blacklisted, the Volkskrant reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte warned the Dutch agriculture and horticulture sector to prepare for a so-called hard Brexit - the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without signing a trade agreement. After months of talks between the EU and the UK, the parties are not yet close to an agreement, NU.nl reports.
"Keep the option in mind that it won't succeed", Rutte said. The British government plans to leave the EU on April 1st, 2019.
The Netherlands should be on the European Union's blacklist of tax havens, according to development organization Oxfam Novib in a report. The EU is currently working on such a list, to get a clear picture on which countries 'refuse to play fair', and the expectation is that the Netherlands will not be on it, RTL Nieuws reports.
The EU list is expected to be presented in December. According to Oxfam, if the criteria for non-EU countries were also applied to the Netherlands, the country would definitely end up on the blacklist.
A nail-biting lottery is how Amsterdam is now officially the next home of the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Roughly 900 jobs will move to Amsterdam, with staffers needing to choose between staying in the UK or making the move to the Netherlands.
The European Union's EMA will formally leave London, United Kingdom beginning in March 2019 because of the impending Brexit.