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European Parliament Votes for EU Constitution, SP Votes Against

20 February 2008

European Parliament Votes for EU Constitution, SP Votes Against

Today the European Parliament voted in favour of the new and renamed European Constitution, which the Dutch government says must not be called a “European Constitution” at all, but a “reform treaty”. The SP in the European Parliament joined colleagues from the United European Left (GUE-NGL) group in voting against, of course. As SP Euro-MP Erik Meijer explained, “The difference between this and the Constitutional Treaty roundly rejected by the Dutch people in 2005 is negligible. Our objections to it therefore remain for the most part unchanged.” The SP also participated in a demonstrated before the vote was taken, calling for a new referendum to be held by every member state.

61 % againstThe popular judgement on the EU's course left no room for doubt.

The proposed Constitutional Treaty rejected in 2005 by voters in the Netherlands and France, fulfilled the wishes of major corporations, national governments and the majority in the national parliaments, but has little support among the electorate, In the few countries where a referendum was held, intensive public debate and high turnouts led to huge 'no' votes. The people, it turns out, are unwilling to see European decisions enforced when they would never have taken those same decisions themselves. They see the EU as useful in solving problems which do not stop at borders and problems which cannot be tackled by individual countries acting separately, but are not in favour of a European superstate.

"The European Constitution had good and bad elements, but there was no possibility of removing the bad. The new treaty looked very much like that constitution. Refusing to hold referendums reveals fear of the voters. Today's large majority in favour of endorsement sends a clear message: keep your noses out, people, this Europe is a matter for career politicians only."

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