Cabinet wary of European super state

A new European treaty should make a clear separation between national and European policy, and Brussels should avoid trying to regulate national issues such as social security provision and public services, foreign affairs minister Maxime Verhagen and European affairs minister Frans Timmermans told MPs on Monday.

The ministers’ memo outlines the Dutch position ahead of a new round of negotiations on a European treaty.
The new treaty must be different from the constitutional document in terms of content, size and definition, the ministers said. The Netherlands and France overwhelmingly rejected the European constitution in referenda in 2005.
The new treaty should focus on repairing shortcomings in existing treaties, the ministers said. It is a about making a ‘better’, more democratic and more focused Europe, not creating the image of a European super state.
Meanwhile, MPs are to hold a series of meetings around the country over the next few weeks to gauge current public opinion on the European constitution. Harm-Evert Waalkens, chairman of the parliamentary committee on Europe, admitted to ANP that the meetings should have been held earlier, given the no vote was two years ago.
European ministers are to hold a summit to discuss how to proceed on the constitution on June 1.

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