Kartika Liotard: ‘EU should put plans on hold until we know what people want’

17 June 2005

Kartika Liotard: ‘EU should put plans on hold until we know what people want’

SP Euro-MP Kartika Liotard wants the idea in the motion put forward by her SP colleague in the Dutch national parliament, Harry van Bommel, which charges the government with the task of organising a broad national debate on the future direction of Europe, to be adopted also at the European level. In a meeting in Stockholm of European left parties last weekend, the decision was taken to gather at least a million signatures on a petition urging the holding back of any further far-reaching EU measures until a clear idea has been gained of what the citizens of the member states want from the European Union.

At the 23rd meeting of the New European Left Forum, the French and Dutch 'No' to the European Constitution stood high on the agenda. A large majority of representatives called for the halting of the ratification process on the grounds that the proposal could no longer be said, in the usual sense of the term, to exist.

SP Euro-MP Kartika Liotard proposed that a Europe-wide petition be circulated calling on the EU to suspend further action until citizens throughout the Union had been given the chance in broad public discussion to make clear what form, if any, they would like further European integration to take.

Kartika Liotard“The European Constitution contained a proposal whereby anyone who could gather a million signatures could put any subject on the European agenda. If the European leaders see that as an important democratising measure – and we would agree with this assessment – they should be pleased that we want to make use of it. Plans as far-reaching as liberalisation and the transfer of powers from the member states to Brussels should be put on hold. It's time that Europe paused for breath.”

The plan for a petition to that effect will be elaborated at a meeting to be held next week in Paris.

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