Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Well, Another One... [Nieuwsportaal van Nederland]

The Dutch vote on the Constitutional Treaty is much more clear than the French one - 63 % No with a 62 % turnout of the electorate.

We'll see, but I expect this to spell the end of the bizarre charade of some European leaders saying that everything must just move on and the French and the Dutch and the possible others must simply be forced to fall in line the one way or the other...

It's simply not going to happen. Worse, the very effort might well be damaging to what we are trying to achieve.

When in the Netherlands earlier this year, it was not difficult to detect an undercurrent of suspicion that the Union had started to treat different countries differently and that they were simply not prepared to accept it.

To a large extent this is a question of Germany. That's not an entirely uncomplicated subject in the Netherlands.

They had to adhere to the more rigorous version of the Stability and Growth Pact. But Berlin just said that they couldn't care less and that it was Brussels rather than them that had to change.

Things like these are not quickly forgotten. For the Netherlands, it makes a difference if their neighbour is a Germany that puts Europe first or a Germany that puts Germany first.

I suspect that a part of the Dutch rebellion today is a rebellion against the bigger preaching the law to the smaller while putting themselves above the same law.

A not unfair point, by the way. And one that must be taken into consideration in the years to come.