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Our King’s wrestling in Brussels

14 June 2016

Our King’s wrestling in Brussels

On 25th May King Willem-Alexander gave a speech to the European Parliament. My fellow SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur and I went along for the occasion and paid careful attention to what he had to say. We were witness to a wrestling match: “Of course I’m a europhile,” said the monarch, “but I also indeed see that we have to take into account those who stay at home.” Further than that our head of state, though, did not go.

- By Dennis de Jong

Shortly the British will vote on their country’s membership of the European Union and what the result will be is still anybody’s guess. In the Netherlands, our own referendum – on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement - is already behind us. In that case the result was very clear indeed: it was a ‘No’.

Anyone who listens to the public in Europe know that discontent is only increasing. That this leads to wrestling amongst heads of state is fine, but it’s not enough. We have to go back to the drawing board. The Treaty of Lisbon (the European Constitution that dare not say its name) must be scrapped and we have to start again. In doing this, don’t go any further than the people want: cooperation around cross-border problems. Stop listening to big corporations, who have grabbed hold of European cooperation for the last twenty-five years and thus undermined it. And don’t listen to the European Commission or to EU officials, who only want more Brussels, because that’s what earns them their living.

The times are growing tense. Let’s hope that at the next performance by a Dutch head of state in Brussels or Strasbourg he (or she) can say “we’ve listened closely to the public and we’ve established a new European Union that does only what’s really necessary and over which big corporations have lost their influence.”

That would be just royal.


 This article first appeared in the original Dutch in the SP monthly Tribune, June 2016.

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