Concerning the reaction from the Netherlands, Our expatriate Dutch correspondent H. Numan has translated an article from De Telegraaf, followed by his brief commentary:
Balkenende: The Netherlands will continue ratifying the EU constitution- - - - - - - - -
The Hague — The Netherlands is disappointed by the Irish rejection of the new EU treaty of Lisbon, but will continue to ratify the treaty.
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende announced this Friday, “An Irish nay does not mean that we and other member states should stop the ratification process.” After the approval in parliament, which voted on the 5th of June, soon the senate has to vote on it. “There is no reason to withdraw this piece of legislation”, according to the prime minister.
He does not want to draw any conclusions about what the rejection of the treaty means for Europe. The Irish must have the opportunity to consider that. In the next EU summit by the end of next week PM Brian Cowen will get the opportunity to voice his opinion about the situation in Ireland and what to do next, according to Balkenende.
Germany and France also want the Euro-nations to continue ratifying the new Euro treaty. This was announced by German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday in a joint press conference.
Both leaders were disappointed by the fact that the Irish voters rejected the treaty in a referendum. But according to them, the treaty has already been ratified by 18 of the 27 member states. “We hope therefore that other states will continue the process of ratification.”
The British conservatives in the European Parliament proposed a plan-B after the Irish rejection. “A plan B, with the B for burial”, according to the 27 British Euro parliamentarians. “the Irish population was the only one allowed to vote on the subject. Therefore they represent the entire European constituency.” The British Conservatives, who are in the opposition, ranted against the fact that their PM Gordon Brown wants to continue the ratification process in the United Kingdom.
H. Numan’s comment:
Well, Mr. Balkenende as well as the EU government certainly have a reason to withdraw. According to the Lisbon treaty, the ratification must be unanimous. The question is, of course, how can we make the population swallow that one too?