Bot sees hope for parts of EU constitution

Some parts of the EU constitution could win approval in the Netherlands as long as the word ‘constitution’ is not used, Trouw reports foreign minister Ben Bot as saying.

In a speech to ex-Harvard students in Amsterdam last night, Bot said a new treaty would have to answer complaints that the EU is too interfering and too bureaucratic, he said. ‘If these concerns are taken away, then there is more chance of ratification,’ the paper reported the minister as saying.
However, there should be no referentum, because the issues are too complicated, he said. Nor should the treaty be called a constitution, because it implied the creation of a superstate. So references to a European flag and Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ as a European anthem should be scrapped, he said.
A new treaty, he said, should give a legal basis for joint energy provision, the fight against organised crime, a European foreign policy and environmental protection. The emphasis should be on the actual content of European integration, not the machinery.

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