EU is not a threat to Dutchness, says prince

Prince Constantijn made an empassioned plea for greater Dutch involvement in the EU in a speech marking the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome on Tuesday. Europe was not a threat to everything that was ‘typically Dutch’, the prince, third son of queen Beatrix, told his audience of students in The Hague.

‘The only threat to these Dutch strong points comes from ourselves, when we close ourselves off behind walls of our own making,’ the prince said. ‘I don’t believe that Europe threatens our identity… and I don’t know of anyone who wants a Europe of boring uniformity.’
The prince said if there was a trend towards creating a uniform world, it was globalisation, which was making all products available all the time in every city in the world. ‘But in Europe I see precisely the opposite trend. Countries, regions and cities are doing better at projecting clear identities,’ the prince said.
‘We have to make Europe part of the solution for the challenges the Netherlands faces, instead of treating Europe as a problem.’
The Treaty of Rome paved the way for the creation of the modern European Union. The Netherlands was one of the six founding signatories. However, the Dutch reputation for being pro-EU has been damaged since the clear rejection of the EU constitution in a referendum in 2005.

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