"EU membership hangs in the balance"

29th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

29 May 2007, THE HAGUE – If the Netherlands rejects a European treaty in a referendum once again, then Dutch membership in the EU hangs in the balance, State secretary for European Affairs Frans Timmermans said to the press in The Hague today.

29 May 2007

THE HAGUE – If the Netherlands rejects a European treaty in a referendum once again, then Dutch membership in the EU hangs in the balance, State secretary for European Affairs Frans Timmermans said to the press in The Hague today.

The Netherlands and France rejected the draft European constitutional treaty in referenda two years ago. Negotiations are now planned for a treaty that could be adopted in the stead of the rejected constitution. It is not yet known whether a new treaty will be subject to a referendum.

If it is however, then the question will be whether the Netherlands wants to continue with Europe, Timmermans said. He admits this sounds like blackmail but says that "the second round really will be the last round. There will not be another occasion to again change a new treaty."

Timmermans would have preferred a good discussion on the EU without the pressure of a new treaty and possible referendum. "The treaty has now become an obstacle to this." As far as Timmermans is concerned the Netherlands should remain in the core of Europe and not retire to the sidelines.

The Netherlands is now in an awkward position because of the rejection of the constitution and is seeking closer contact with France. The policy outlined by new French president Nicolas Sarkozy shows interesting points of similarity with the wishes of the government in The Hague.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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