Sunday, April 17, 2005

Dutch and Danish Constitutional Support Cooling

Support for the EU Constitution is weakening among voters in Holland and Denmark, according to polls conducted last week. The scepticism in the two countries is not yet as marked as in France, where President Chirac last week markedly failed to enthuse young voters for the project, but suggests a trend.

This encourages the blog, which, whilst European to its fingertips, abhors the draft constitution. Overall, it seems foolish to grant more powers to federal institutions which are completely unable to balance their own books, and which, to put it at its most charitable, turn a blind eye to corruption. The draft constitution, a confusing, overlong, overambitious document, undemocratic and dangerous in its implications, richly deserves to be rejected by voters.

There are far too many disparate elements contained in the current draft - not only making the EU formally a state, but also allocating seemingly unlimited power to EU insitutions ahead of national institutions, proliferating rights and restrictions which can only weaken Europe's flexibility when it should be strengthened.

The blog has mentioned before that the draft's low-interest nature makes any "debate" potentially sententious. But these polls suggest that voters are seeing drawbacks to a constitution whose approval previously seemed a foregone conclusion.

The EU's bureaucratic behemoth is facing unaccustomed resistance from people whose opinions it is unaccustomed to consult - its own voters and taxpayers - people it normally prefers not to involve in such matters. Were the draft constitution to be approved, matters would go back to the way they were. Were it to be rejected, the EU would have to think again about its role.

This is an outcome richly to be welcomed.

This link is to the (Dutch only) Volkskrant:de Volkskrant - Verzet groeit tegen Grondwet EU

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