VARIOUS: EUROPEAN POLITICIANS GIVE THEIR REACTION TO THE 'NO' VOTE TO THE EUROPEAN UNION'S CONSTITUTION
VARIOUS: EUROPEAN POLITICIANS GIVE THEIR REACTION TO THE 'NO' VOTE TO THE EUROPEAN UNION'S CONSTITUTION
- Title: VARIOUS: EUROPEAN POLITICIANS GIVE THEIR REACTION TO THE 'NO' VOTE TO THE EUROPEAN UNION'S CONSTITUTION
- Date: 4th June 2005
- Summary: (W4) BERLIN, GERMANY (JUNE 2, 2005) (REUTERS) 1. WIDE OF BUNDESTAG, GERMAN PARLIAMENT; SLV ENTRANCE WITH EU AND GERMAN FLAGS FLYING; SLV LOBBY IN BUNDESTAG 0.08 2. (SOUNDBITE) (German) JOSCHKA FISCHER, GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SAYING: "A stronger Europe protects us aginst globalisation and does not make us vulnerable to the world of globalisation. That's why in my opinion I can not understand those who voted No. At the same time, it's a democratic decision and we will now have to deal with it. Thank you." 3. FISCHER WALKING OFF 0.35 (EU) PARIS, FRANCE (JUNE 2, 2005) (REUTERS) 4. SLV EXTERIOR OF THE ASSEMBLEE NATIONALE (FRENCH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY) 0.40 5. SLV ROOM WITHIN THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY "SALLE DES QUATRE COLONNES" (ROOM WITH FOUR COLUMNS) 0.46 6. (SOUNDBITE) (French) ALAIN COUSIN, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR THE UNION FOR A POPULAR MOVEMENT PARTY (UMP) FOR MANCHE, SAYING: "Clearly, the Dutch 'no' was quite heavily strengthened by that of the French. This proves that Europe has been quite badly explained, not only for the past three months but for years and years. It's true that Europe has been created by experts, or 'eurocrats' as we called them, regardless of their other qualities, and it was lacking in legitimacy in terms of public expression." 1.13 (EU) THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS (MAY 2, 2005) (REUTERS) 7. SLV EXTERIOR OF DUTCH PARLIAMENT IN THE HAGUE SEEN ACROSS STRETCH OF WATER WITH FOUNTAIN; MV DUTCH PRIME MINISTER JAN-PETER BALKENENDE WALKING ALONG CORRIDOR; MV BALKENENDE SURROUNDED BY JOURNALISTS 1.26 8. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DUTCH PRIME MINISTER JAN-PETER BALKENENDE, SAYING: "In the first place we now have to listen to the Dutch parliament, how they consider the situation, what their comments are and of course we will give our answers as government." 1.37 9. MV BALKENENDE SURROUNDED BY MEDIA; SCU LABOUR PARTY CHAIRMAN (PVDA) WOULTER BOS WALKING 1.43 10. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LABOUR PARTY CHAIRMAN WOULTER BOS, SAYING: "I think there is a crisis around the European constitution. I don't see a clear away of how that can be carried forward, that would get sufficient support from other countries as well. Apart from that, I think we need a serious debate on what the European policies for the Netherlands are going to be in the coming years. We have had a clear signal from our people that there is no support for the way politics has dealt with it so far. So we will need to make new choices. It is not just a matter of better campaigning or better information." 2.14 11. SLV INTERIOR OF PARLIAMENT; MEMBER OF PARLAIMENT GEERT WILDERS TAKING THE FLOOR; BALKENENDE AND BOT SITTING TAKING NOTES; MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT GEERT WILDERS SPEAKING 12. CHAIRMAN OF THE CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY STANDING AND LISTENING; BOS SITTING AND LISTENING; BALKENENDE AND BOT LISTENING; DUTCH PARLIAMENT WITH DEBATE IN PROGRESS 2.51 (EU) MAASTRICHT, NETHERLANDS (JUNE 2, 2005) (REUTERS) FOR DETAILED SHOTLIST 13 - 17 SEE PROD 7212/05 13. SLV CLOCK TOWER IN MARKET PLACE/ STALLS IN THE SQUARE DUTCH FLAG FLYING ABOVE FOOD STALL; MV PEOPLE STANDING AROUND MARKET STALL SELLING HERRING, A TYPICAL DUTCH DISH; MV WOMEN EATING THE HERRING AT THE STALL; SLV PEOPLE SITTING IN (ALFRESCO) CAFE 14. (SOUNDBITE) (Dutch) MAN IN THE SQUARE, SAYING: "They only told us about the negative aspects of the 'No' vote and they did not stress enough the positive aspects of a "Yes" vote. 15. SLV BOATS ON THE RIVER; SLV TOURISTS LOOKING OVER RIVER; SLV DUTCH AND EUROPEAN FLAGS FLYING ON THE BOATS; SLV PEOPLE RIDING BICYCLES ON THE BRIDGE; SLV YOUNG WOMEN RIDING BICYCLES (EU) BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (JUNE 2, 2005) (REUTERS) 16. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JOHN PALMER, EUROPEAN POLICY CENTRE, SAYING: "The present crisis will not make it easier to solve the economic problems it will make it more difficult. But the crisis is telling us something even more imporatnt than the economy: it is saying the people do not feel ownership of the European Union process. (EU) MAASTRICHT, NETHERLANDS (JUNE 2, 2005) (REUTERS) 17. BANK OF BICYCLES BY THE RIVER 4.13 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 19th June 2005 13:00
- Location: BERLIN, GERMANY / MASSTRICHT, THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS / BRUSSELS, BELGIUM / PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: Netherlands Belgium Belarus France Germany
- Reuters ID: LVAD8ELOG3EF8JWLICWO8H4BFVMP
- Story Text: European politicians give their reaction to the "no"
vote, with most expressing disappointment but no surpise at
The Dutch government urged the rest of Europe on
Thursday (June 2, 2005) to listen to the hopes and fears of Dutch
voters after they overwhelmingly rejected a constitution
for a newly enlarged European Union in a referendum.
In France and Germany, politicians expressed their
disappointment with the Dutch result.
In Berlin, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer went
further, and said that he could not understand the
reasoning behind the Dutch rejection of the European Union
constitution but that it was "a democratic decision and we
will now have to deal with it."
"A stronger Europe protects us aginst globalisation and
does not make us vulnerable to the world of globalisation,"
Fischer told reporters.
"That's why in my opinon I can not understand those who
One French lawmaker said France's rejection of the
European constitutional treaty only days before the Dutch
referendum had strengthened the Dutch "no". He blamed the
rejection of the constitution in both countries on a
failure by politicians to explain Europe to the people.
"This proves that Europe has been quite badly
explained, not only for the past three months but for years
and years. It's true that Europe has been created by
experts, or 'eurocrats' as we called them, regardless of
their other qualities, and it was lacking in legitimacy in
terms of public expression," Alain Cousin, a member of
parliament for the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party
Dutch Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende, who ruled
out quitting his post over a referendum he says was pushed
on his coalition by parliament, could face a no confidence
vote in parliament later on Thursday. He is expected to
comfortably survive any such vote.
Three days after France rejected a treaty designed to
make the bloc run more smoothly following the EU's
enlargement to 25 states from 15 last year, the Dutch
rejection on Wednesday (June 1) could stall the bloc's
expansion and disrupt decision making.
Balkenende, whose centre-right government suffered a
bloody nose when voters voted "No" despite a government
"Yes" campaign, said it was time for politicians to pay
greater attention to their voters' views on Europe.
"In the first place we now have to listen to the Dutch
parliament, how they consider the situation, what their
comments are and of course we will give our answers as
government," Balkenende told journalists arriving at the
Parliament in the Hague." The Dutch "No" vote of 61.6 percent
was even more decisive than the nearly 55 percent scored
by French treaty opponents.
Dutch hostility to the Euro, fears about rapid EU
expansion, concerns about immigration and a loss of
influence in Brussels as well as hefty EU budget
contributions fuelled a "No" vote in the Netherlands, one
of the bloc's six founding members.
This presents a serious dilemna for politicians who
have tried to sell the 'Yes' vote to their supporters with
the view to a fast track economic recovery. But how do they
prove their interest in holding on to those aspects of
Europe which work whilst ditching those that don't.
One man in Maastricht, once the symbol of a united
Europe, said people should have voted 'Yes' because "the
show must go on". But he criticised Holland's political
parties for badly marketing the benefits of a European
"They only told us about the negative aspects of the
'No' vote and they did not stress enough the positive
aspects of a "Yes" vote," he said.
In Brussels, EU leaders are now groping for a way
forward and looking to salvage what can be saved while
trying to avoid blame for the disaster.
John Palmer of the European Policy Centre says Europe
has moved at two different speeds and that the people have
not been given the chance to keep up with the changes.
He admits that the French and Dutch referenda have
plunged Europe into a crisis.
"...the crisis is telling us something even more
important than the economy: it is saying the people do not
feel ownership of the European Union process."
The options being discussed in Brussels and European
capitals look a bit like the buttons on a video player:
PLAY - continue the ratification process in the hope
that as many countries as possible approve the constitution
and create a favourable balance of power for a late 2006
STOP - admit that the treaty is never going to enter
into force and spare other member states the humiliation of
losing referendums on a dead text; soldier on under the
Treaty of Nice.
PAUSE - admit the French and Dutch votes mean
ratification will have to be extended since France and the
Netherlands won't have reversed their votes by end 2006;
agree a cooling-off period during which member states would
be free to go ahead with or suspend ratification according
to national circumstances.
FAST FORWARD - accelerate the ratification process,
possibly with a single day for a super-referendum in
several countries; then hold an early summit to see how to
move forward once it is clear how may countries back the
treaty and how many don't.
REWIND - recognise that the constitution in its current
form will never fly; strip out a few key provisions needed
to make the EU work more smoothly, such as the streamlined
voting system and EU foreign minister, put them in a short
protocol amending the Nice Treaty that could be ratified by
The European Commission publicly favours the first
option -- keeping ratification going.
But senior commissioners are privately much more
reticent, worrying that another 18 months of losing
referendum battles could do more damage to the EU's public
standing and inhibit the Commission from driving forward
Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, whose
country holds the EU's rotating presidency, may propose the
fast forward option of trying to reverse the negative
dynamic by going for an accelerated ratification, a source
close to him said.
The strongly federalist Liberal group in the European
Parliament called on Thursday for all the remaining
countries to hold a "big bang" vote on a single day in Nov.
1 Diplomats say there is no prospect that all 25 EU
leaders will be able to agree to declare the treaty dead at
their mid-June summit.
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