[fse-esf] NEW MOVES ON NEW EU Constitutional Treaty
waleseuropa at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Jan 16 18:38:22 CET 2007
Constitutional treaty Strasbourg, 16/01/2007
Dutch MEPs Want Limited European Constitution
Nis News Bulletin 16/01/07
The Dutch political parties are divided on the question of how to proceed further with the European Constitution. Despite what some think, the idea of a constitution is anything but dead.
The Christian democrats (CDA), Labour (PvdA) and small Christian party ChristenUnie are the parties currently trying to form a government. MEPs of all three urge the introduction of a limited treaty.
The Netherlands and France rejected the Constitution, but meanwhile, 18 EU countries have voted for it. State Secretaries of EU countries will start discussing the future of the text next Friday in Madrid. Talks in Luxembourg will follow, and in March, a brain-storming session by government leaders in Berlin.
Ria Oomen, an experienced CDA MEP, in any case wants to discuss the constitution further. "My call to the new coalition is not to appoint any minister that says the constitution is dead." This is a remarkable call, as CDA Foreign Minister Ben Bot repeatedly said so.
Bot did say in November he expects there will be a new treaty in around two years. This will not be a new European Constitution, according to the minister, but a new treaty under which more veto rights are scrapped to make EU administration easier.
PvdA wants new negotiations. "The subject is currently a bit too broad. On top of this, the text could be simpler," in the view of Max van den Berg, PvdA leader in the European Parliament. The PvdA was a supporter of the rejected Constitution, as was CDA.
ChristenUnie, which was against the Constitution, now wants a limited treaty about "certain changes to allow the EU to function with 27 countries and admit Croatia in a few years," said MEP Hans Blokland. He does not see a place for ideas such as an EU president.
The Socialist Party (SP), also a Constitution opponent, considers the Netherlands must not allow itself to be intimidated "by countries that have not held any referendum," says MEP Erik Meijer. "In these countries, the population also had strong objections. The SP wants to move to fundamental changes in the subject, and especially with less liberalisation and defence."
Like ChristenUnie, VVD wants to shorten the existing text. VVD MEP Jules Maaten wants only the part on EU institutions and procedures to be introduced for now. "The chapter on civil rights can come later," he considers.
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