After the EU constitution, the debate on Europe dies the death

12 October 2005

After the EU constitution, the debate on Europe dies the death

The cabinet has today in a letter to the lower house of Parliament declared that the national discussion on Europe is now definitely over and done with. SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel expressed his regret that the leading supporters of the EU Constitution have killed off the debate.

The massive rejection of the European Constitution by the people of France and the Netherlands was a clear signal that things had to change in Europe. A day after the referendum in the Netherlands a motion presented by the SP was carried to the effect that Parliament wanted to see a national debate over the country's future in Europe. All citizens should have the chance to participate and no limits should be placed on the subjects covered, the resolution stated. But the supporters of the EU constitution – the government, the governing VVD (right-wing liberals) CDA (Christian Democrats) and the opposition PvdA (Labour Party) see no advantage in allowing the people to express their views about the Netherlands' future within the EU.

Harry van Bommel discussing European affairs at the Dapper Market in Amsterdam

Van Bommel: “We regret that the debate on Europe has been allowed quietly to die in this way. But that won't stop us from conducting such a discussion ourselves. In Parliament and out on the streets, in neighbourhoods and markets, the SP will continue to talk and listen to people on the subject of our country's future in Europe.”

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