Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Netherlands Vote June 1st

The Netherlands has now announced that it will hold its referendum on the European Constitutional Treaty on June 1st.

Before that it is generelly expected that the referendum in France will be held.

And it has now been announced that Denmark will have its referendum immediately after the summer on September 27.

Public opinion is the Netherlands on these issues are likely to be in a somewhat volatile stage. There has been a strong reaction against the perception that the larger powers - read Germany - can do what they want with the Growth and Stability Pact, while the somewhat smaller ones are supposed to adhere to it.

And to this should be added the debate on all of the issues connected with the Van Gogh murder last year. Issues of immigration and integration were certainly at the forefront of the debate when I was in The Hague some time ago.

But against this stands the very strong approval of the Constitutional Treaty by all of the major political parties of the country.