Holland firm on EU treaty ratification

The Netherlands will press ahead with ratifying the EU’s Lisbon Treaty despite Ireland’s apparent no vote, prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende said after Friday’s cabinet meeting.

The result of the Irish referendum is disappointing but will be discussed by the Council of Europe next week, Balkenende said. Any statements before then would be premature, he added.
The lower house of the Dutch parliament approved the treaty on June 5 and the upper house is due to complete its deliberations before the summer.
Socialist Party MP Harry van Bommel on Friday urged the government to halt the ratification process.
The Netherlands rejected the European Constitution with a referendum in 2005. The Lisbon treaty, which replaces it, is supposed to amend existing EU treaties to make the institution more open and democratic. All member countries are supposed to ratify it.

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