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Press Release
Statement by the Prime Minister and current president of the European Council, Jean-Claude Juncker, following the referendum held in the Netherlands

Date of release : 01-06-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Ladies and gentlemen, here we are again.

The Dutch people have voted.

And they have said "no".

The Dutch "no" vote comes after the French one, but the Dutch vote was not the same as the French. The issues and the campaign arguments  in the Netherlands were different from those used in the debate in France.

This evening, after the debate in France, after the debate in the Netherlands, after the French "no" and the Dutch "no", there are an impressive number of contradictory reasons why the "no" vote won. The arguments used by the "no" voters in France had already contradicted each other. Now, another list of no less contradictory arguments has been added to this already large collection of contradictory reasons for saying "no".      

There is no denying this evening that the European Union doesn’t inspire people anymore. Would it do so, wouldn't there have been other factors in the explanation that led to the "no" winning the day, and would France and the Netherlands then have voted for this Constitution?

The EU in its current form is no longer popular and so the EU, as it would be under the Constitutional Treaty is being rejected.

Nonetheless, I still consider that the ratification process must be allowed to continue in the other countries. People in those countries, which have not yet voted have the right to be heard, and the parliaments there have the right to have their say and to make their opinion known.

The debate must continue because as we have seen, in both France and the Netherlands, there definitely was a debate. And I, we, would like the other countries to have the opportunity to debate these matters with just as much passion.

We think that the ratification process should continue, because, as has been set out in Declaration No. 30 attached to the draft constitutional treaty, lines out the options available to the European Council, in case of the situation we doubly face this evening ocurred.

Therefore, I will refer this matter to the European Council on 16 and 17 June, as I announced after the French referendum. Together, we will analyse the situation in the European Union as it stands this evening and I will submit proposals to my colleagues in the Council which should, if everyone is agreed, enable the European Council to show the outisde world that the EU works, that the EU is moving forward, and that the EU can make decisions.

Thank you.

This page was last modified on : 02-06-2005

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