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Netherlands rejects EU reform treaty referendum

[JURIST] The Dutch government will not hold a general referendum on the proposed EU Reform Treaty [PDF text; EU materials], Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende [official profile] said Friday. Balkenende said the referendum was unnecessary because the new EU treaty had "no constitutional aspirations." The Dutch Parliament [official website] could propose a treaty referendum itself although anti-referendum parties have a majority of seats. AFP has more.

UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband last month rejected calls for a UK general referendum on the proposed treaty [JURIST report], but said that the treaty would not infringe on British independence. In June, then-UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said that the EU did not need a real or de facto constitutional treaty, and insisted that the reform treaty did not amount to an EU constitution [JURIST report]. EU leaders reached an agreement [JURIST report] on the reform treaty, which is in effect a cut-down version of the original stalled European constitution [JURIST news archive], in June. The original draft constitution failed as it did not receive unanimous approval among all EU states. Voters in France and the Netherlands [JURIST reports] rejected the proposal in national referenda in 2005.

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