‘Council of State: no EU referendum’

The Council of State says that the Netherlands does not need to hold a referendum on the new EU treaty, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.

Sources have told the paper that the Council, the government’s highest advisory body, believes a new vote is not necessary because the changes the treaty proposes are not significant enough.
The government is divided on the issue. The Christian Democrats oppose a new referendum, but the Labour party (PvdA) is in favour. In the coalition accord, the parties agreed to base their decision on whether to hold a new referendum on the outcome of the Council of State’s deliberations.
In 2005, the Netherlands voted overwhelmingly against the planned EU constitution.
The cabinet is expected to discuss the issue at today’s meeting but a final decision may not be taken before next week, the paper says.

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