Poll: No to European Constitution must mean no – even after the election

12 November 2006

Poll: No to European Constitution must mean no – even after the election

If the voters were to vote again on the European Constitution, the number voting no would be even greater than was the case on 1st June 2005. A survey conducted for the SP by leading pollsters Maurice de Hond showed that fully 64% of the voters would now opt for a no, while a majority of 51% state that the no should remain a no whatever the outcome of the elections scheduled for 22nd November. This opinion is in contrast to the declaration by Christian Democrat Foreign Minister Ben Bot that he will work on a new European treaty in the coming year. Mr Bot is, it's true, anxious to avoid calling this new treaty a 'constitution', but wants to see much of what the rejected constitution contained restored.

In the referendum 61.6% of the electorate voted against the proposed European Constitution, compared to the 64% which would now do so. A great majority of the Dutch population – 87% - agreed, a year after the constitution's rejection, that the public has far too little say within the EU. At the same time the majority are against a single European state, a European president, a single European foreign policy and a European army. Most of the public believes that the EU must be maintained, but that it should primarily concern itself with economic affairs.

Harry van BommelSP European affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel, commenting on the findings, said, "It's important that political parties make it clear before next week's election what they think of the minister's proposal. Representatives of the Labour Party (PvdA) and Christian Democrats (CDA) have already voted for a proposal that the European Constitution should despite everything be adopted before 2009. And the CDA has stated in its election manifesto that national veto rights should be limited.

“Europe has become a dead letter in this election campaign," Mr Van Bommel continued. "Most parties appear to be traumatised by the for them tragic result of 1st June 2005, when their own voters went against their wishes. Since then, as this poll demonstrates, support for a European Constitution has dwindled even further. Parties should not be ignoring this. They can keep quiet now, but they won't be able to do so after the beginning of next year, when the German Chancellor Angela Merkel will take over as president of the Council of the European Union. She has already announced that she wants to get down to work on the Constitution straight away. It would be good if the voters could see clearly before the election which parties recognise the fact that the Dutch people's no will be as much a no after the election as it was last June."

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