Council of State advises on EU treaty

13th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

13 September 2007 , AMSTERDAM (dpa) - The Dutch Council of State filed its recommendations to the government late Wednesday night about the blueprint of the revised European treaty signed by all European Union members in June.

13 September 2007

AMSTERDAM (dpa) - The Dutch Council of State filed its recommendations to the government late Wednesday night about the blueprint of the revised European treaty signed by all European Union members in June.

The Council of State also elaborates in its recommendations on the options of organising a new national referendum on the treaty.

The Dutch government is expected to discuss the recommendations, which are classified, on Friday.

Earlier this summer the Dutch government requested the Council of State to determine whether or not the revised European treaty should be considered a European constitution.

In 2005, a large majority of Dutch and French nationals voted in national referendums against a previous European treaty. One of the aims of the previous European treaty was to establish a European constitution.

Polls in the Netherlands later showed a majority of the electorate feared a European constitution would reduce Dutch national sovereignty.

The rejection of the previous European treaty in the Netherlands and France forced European Union countries to renegotiate the treaty during a summit last June.

According to the Dutch government, the revised treaty is not similar to a constitution. Insiders in the Dutch political scene expect the Council of State will reiterate this opinion.

The Council of State will only indicate whether or not organising a referendum is a possibility. Most likely it will decline to take position on the question whether or not organising such a national referendum is politically advisable.

The government coalition is divided over the need for a referendum on the European treaty. Labour supports a referendum, but the Christian Democrats and the Christian Union object to it.

Due to support for the referendum by the opposition, a majority in the parliament could vote in favour of referendum.

However, parliamentary enforcement of a referendum could be blocked at a later stage in the senate, due to opposition by the Liberal VVD party.

The Council of State is the highest and most important advisory council to the Dutch government. Its 25 members are appointed by the queen and government.

They make recommendations about proposed laws and policy measures, focusing on their legal quality and feasibility. They also investigate whether proposals comply with the Dutch constitution and treaties and conventions signed by the Netherlands.

[Copyright dpa 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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