Skip to comments.Brussels breathes sigh of relief that 'treaty is not dead' (DENIAL NOT JUST A RIVER IN EGYPT)
Posted on 06/06/2005 10:39:38 PM PDT by MadIvan
BRUSSELS gave a cautious welcome to Jack Straw's announcement yesterday, with many leaders believing it showed that the constitution was still alive.
Speaking before a meeting of European Union finance ministers, Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg's prime minister, whose country holds the EU presidency, said the UK decision was a signal the constitution was "not dead".
Jean Asselborn, his foreign minister, expressed the general sense of relief in Brussels that the British government had not shelved its constitution plans altogether.
"Despite the setbacks suffered over the last few days, the Treaty is still alive," he said.
"We welcome the fact that the British government has decided to leave open the possibility of reintroducing a bill providing for a UK referendum at a later stage."
Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, said that now was "a time for Europe to listen and think".
"We understand the need for some member states to pause and reflect," he said, but he stressed that "every member state is equally important in the European Union. We need to hear opinions from all 25 member states."
Mr Barroso and Mr Juncker, who was said to be close to tears after the Dutch No, have made clear they are determined to forge ahead at any cost with the ratification process in every EU country.
The Luxembourg leader is next in the dock when his country goes to the polls over the constitution on 10 July. He is the only European leader to have linked his political fate to the outcome, having promised to resign if the people vote No.
Europe is becoming increasingly divided over how to respond to the overwhelming rejection of the constitution by two of the EU's founding member states.
Mr Straw's announcement flies in the face of calls at the weekend by the German and French leaders, Gerhard Schröder and Jacques Chirac, to fully back the ratification process.
Poland also turned up the heat on the UK when Adam Rotfeld, its foreign minister, said Warsaw intended to go ahead with a national poll regardless of the British position.
"The French, Dutch or British cannot make the decision for us," he said. "We should decide for ourselves ... through a referendum."
Brussels has warned on several occasions against "unilateral action" on the issue and London has been at pains to stress that Britain will not try to decide the fate of the constitution alone.
"It's a bit like Murder on the Orient Express. If the constitution is going to be killed then everybody's prints have to be on the knife," said a British official in Brussels.
But signs are in place that other countries are now coming round to the British view of putting the process on the back burner.
Denmark, scheduled to hold a referendum this autumn, has said it will only go ahead if the circumstances are right.
Ireland too is reluctant to commit itself to proceeding with a poll.
I wish these fools would get over themselves. It is not happening. And boo bloody hoo to you Mr. Juncker, you big girl's blouse.
I'm also reminded of the "Bring Out Your Dead" segment from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
"I'm not dead...I feel happy...I feel happy..."
This suggests that the game is being rigged.
Ah...the ever-classic 'No' Means 'Yes'.
I would agree if it was say, Italy. But Denmark is staunchy anti-EU - I suggest they're waiting for the most convenient moment to plunge the dagger in.
I would seldom agree with the "The Beast of Bolsover" except when he shows such convincing humor.
The EU is one of the few subjects that the Labour far Left shows no cognitive dissonance - they hate it for being anti-democratic and for the Common Agricultural Policy (subsidies to French farmers).
And in this instance, they're correct.
I hate to be cynical but that is clearly the way things are. When I was in graduate school I read an unpublished essay by non other than Herbert Marcuse who called democracy a farce for the benefit of the masses. We are lulled into thinking our votes count and we have a say, but the elites do what they want anyway. I hate to admit thirty years later, that he was probably right.
I'm not quite sure what you mean, but it's funny!
It is a rare day that I agree with Laborites, but I guess contrary to all meaning that trite saying does contain a grain of interest after all: politics makes strange bedfellows.
It's alive! It's alive! It's alive!!
great skit, but I don't think they'll find it funny in Brussels.
The left hates it because it is not communist enough.
Translation: A vote will be held only when and if the polls indciate that the result will be the one desired by the elite political class.
Backwards. Everybody has to be on board or it is DOA.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.