SGP will get subsidy after all
Minister Guusje ter Horst of Home Affairs must grant the fundamentalist Christian party SGP its subsidy for 2006.
5 December 2007
THE HAGUE – Minister Guusje ter Horst of Home Affairs must grant the fundamentalist Christian party SGP its subsidy for 2006. This stems from a decision in appeal by the Council of State on Wednesday.
The highest administrative court in the Netherlands thereby declared void a decision by a court in The Hague. The lower court had determined that the SGP was no longer entitled to a subsidy from the state. The SGP refused to allow women as members and made it impossible for them to be elected to executive functions within the party.
The court decision came in response to a trial case brought against the state by the Clara Wichmann Institute. The Clara Wichmann Institute, an organisation that promotes the rights of women, invoked the UN treaty on equal treatment for women.
The Council of State now ruled that the law concerning subsidies to political parties weighs the interests of equal treatment and a political party’s interest in upholding its philosophy.
Moreover the Council feels that women in the Netherlands have the opportunity to join other political parties that do put them on equal footing for representative functions.
The SGP is “grateful and pleased at the well grounded verdict.” “This creates the clarity so badly needed on the subsidy to which the SGP is entitled,” said party chairman Wim Kolijn.
The SGP sees the ruling as confirmation that political parties have the freedom to uphold their philosophy. “It is nice that the highest administrative court has put it in writing that the SGP has stuck to the rules.”
The Home Affairs Ministry did not want to comment on the ruling yet.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news