Lisbon Treaty

7 July 2008

Senate speaks as voters forced to remain silent

Today and tomorrow the Senate will take its definitive decision on the Lisbon Treaty, which replaces the European Constitution rejected in 2005 by almost two-thirds of the Dutch electorate. A promised referendum on the new treaty was whipped out from under the noses of those same voters when Labour leader Wouter Bos, whose party had previously supported it, did a deal during the formation of the present governing coalition with Christian Democrat headman Jan Peter Balkenende.

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7 July 2008

Balkenende wants to push 'Lisbon' through the Senate

On 8th July, the last day before the summer recess, the Senate must pronounce judgement on the Treaty of Lisbon, the successor to the European Constitution, killed in action in 2005. Where the government and the lower house of Parliament granted each other three months to sort out the tangle of proposed amendments, protocols and declarations formulated last year in Lisbon, the Senate has been given just three short weeks to come up with a considered verdict. In order to make this possible, the government answered in absolute record time – within three days – two hundred detailed questions from the Senate. On the same day that these answers arrived, the Premier informed the Senate that a comparable number of questions over the Netherlands' involvement in the war in Iraq could be expected to take six (!) months. The Premier's extreme haste in the case of the Lisbon Treaty demonstrates how fearful he is now that doubts are growing all over Europe as to the direction and organisation of the European Union.

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24 June 2008

SP Senators set Premier stiff homework: 105 questions on the Lisbon Treaty

The cabinet of Minister-President Jan Peter Balkenende hopes to organise a Dutch 'yes' to the Lisbon Treaty as speedily as possible. In Parliament's lower house on 18th June the government successfully pulled this off, but in the Senate not every political group is willing to see a repeat performance. The SP, for one, is refusing to rush into a decision. In the end, while the lower house is the main legislative chamber of the Dutch national parliament, the Senate is there to exercise surveillance over the quality of the legislation proposed.

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19 June 2008

Ireland - Denmark

Paul Ulenbelt

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13 June 2008

Van Bommel: Irish 'No' is Europe's opportunity

Irish rejection of the Treaty of Lisbon, in the view of SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel, presents Europe with a tremendous opportunity. “It offers all member states the chance to have a real discussion about the future of the EU,” he explains. “The Irish 'no' means that the Lisbon Treaty is as dead as a doornail. The ratification process, which here in the Netherlands is halfway through, should be halted.” Van Bommel, who is the SP's parliamentary spokesman on European affairs and who played a major role in the Netherlands' own 'No' campaign three years ago, twice travelled to Ireland at the invitation of opponents of the Treaty to offer his support. He called on the Dutch government to respect the Irish people's decision in an unequivocal fashion.

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4 June 2008

SP opposes Lisbon Treaty

The European Treaty, the Treaty of Lisbon, debated this week in Parliament, will bring a federal Europe a step closer, says SP Member of Parliament and European affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel. "The treaty has enormous implications for the Netherlands' state system," he argues.

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2 June 2008

Congratulations delivered to Irish Embassy

SP Members of Parliament Harry van Bommel and Sharon Gesthuizen were at the Irish embassy today to offer their written congratulations to the ambassador on his country's holding of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. The Irish are the only member state to offer voters the chance to express their views on a treaty which is almost identical in content to that rejected by the Dutch and French electorates three years ago.

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29 May 2008

SP congratulates Irish ambassador on referendum

Now that the proposal for a referendum in the Netherlands on the Treaty of Lisbon will probably not succeed, the Irish are the only people in Europe who will have the opportunity to express their view through a popular vote. SP Members of Parliament Harry van Bommel and Sharon Gesthuizen are therefore planning to drop in on the Irish ambassador at 10.30 on Monday morning, 2nd June, to hand over written congratulations.

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28 May 2008

A plea to the Irish People: Vote No!

Three years ago, an overwhelming majority of the electorates of two of the European Community's founding member states voted to reject the European Constitutional Treaty. In France and the Netherlands, despite solid backing from mainstream political parties and organisations representing both sides of industry, this latest step in the top-down integration of Europe failed to win support. The only democratic course would have been to consign it to history and, after widespread consultation, present the peoples of Europe with a real alternative vision of the Union of our nations.

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