Referendum on EU treaty more likely

23rd May 2007, Comments 0 comments

23 May 2007, THE HAGUE – It has become more likely that the Dutch public will be asked to participate in a referendum on the outcome of negotiations on a new European treaty now that the Labour party PvdA has announced that it will not oppose such a vote.

23 May 2007

THE HAGUE – It has become more likely that the Dutch public will be asked to participate in a referendum on the outcome of negotiations on a new European treaty now that the Labour party PvdA has announced that it will not oppose such a vote.

PvdA MP Luuk Blom said during a debate in Parliament today that his party would "never oppose a referendum," but said that the results of the negotiations should first be considered. It was the PvdA that initiated the referendum in which the European constitution was rejected in 2005.

The coalition agreement does not contain a standpoint on a new referendum; the parties have agreed to ask the Council of State for advice on the matter.

Coalition partner Christian democrat CDA was annoyed at the comment from Blom and wants the MP to refrain from expressing support for a referendum before the Council of State has issued a recommendation.

Blom said however that he did not feel bound to agree with the Council of State's advice. It had been assumed till now that a coalition majority would follow whatever recommendation was passed down from the Council.

Opposition parties Democrats D66 and Green-left GroenLinks were pleased with the PvdA's attitude. They want to see any new treaty put up for a public vote.

Current EU president Germany wants to breathe new life into the constitution. Next month the EU leaders will take a decision on how to proceed. A new treaty could be ready by 2009.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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