EU symbols: when will listening to the voters become a 'European value'?

7 October 2008

EU symbols: when will listening to the voters become a 'European value'?

Should the EU flag be be set down in a constitutional treaty? The Dutch Council of State, our highest court when it comes to matters of governance and law, said that it should not, unless a referendum approved it first. But anxious to avoid another flop, Prime Minister Balkenende told the European Parliament in a speech in Strasbourg in 2007 that the 'symbols' contained in the Lisbon Treaty must be removed from its text.

Since then the Irish have put paid to the dirty work: the Treaty has been voted down. But 'Europhiles' are looking for a new gap in the fence through which they can sneak formal status for the EU's symbols.


It is very much the question whether the recognition of a flag can hinder the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, says the European Parliament's rapporteur on the issue, Carlos Carnero González, calling Balkenende's proposal into doubt. In 2007 the Dutch Premier refused to support the inclusion of the symbols in a constitutional treaty. If they were so included, the Council of State had ruled that another referendum would be required. .

European values

Now the Irish have rejected the Lisbon Treaty. González proposes that instead of being included in that Treaty, the EU flag, anthem and maxim should be laid down in the regulations of the European Parliament. This would issue a “political signal”, because these symbols would represent European values. The EU must become the standard in the world for “freedom, development and solidarity.”

Listening to the voter, a 'European value'?

SP Euro-MP Erik Meijer points out that “they're carrying this out in any case. The blue flag is already on every banknote and numberplate. The SP would like to see 'listening to the voter' become more of a characteristic of Europe. They're still acting as if the Lisbon Treaty is alive and well. It's been rejected, and according to the rules of their own game.”

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