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Schnabel, Paul

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Le Soir - Belgium | 22/02/2007

The new Dutch government's lack of any European project

The new Dutch government, a centre-left coalition still headed by the christian-democrat Jan Peter Balkenende, was officially put in place on Thursday, February 22nd, three months after the legislative elections. In an interview carried out by Didier Burg, the Dutch sociologist Paul Schnabel ponders the European plans of this new team. "Europe has become a problem for the Dutch. And, in turn, the Netherlands have become a problem for Europe. In a recent visit to The Hague, the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, mentionned a treaty with the Netherlands on the future Constitution [The Netherlands rejected the Constitution by referendum in June 2005]. But the agreement [of the coalition] of the next government does not say anything on the subject. No matter what, the Netherlands cannot remain isolated and need to tie themselves to Europe once again. This is going to be hard work, because there are some staunch opponents to the European Constitution in cabinet."

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