Thursday, 23 January 2014 - 04:34
Referendum on EU expansion to be held
After 10 months of preparation, a citizen's initiative, under the name of Burgerforum EU, succeeded in placing the ever-expanding European Union on the planner of the Lower House, Tuesday, supported by some 63,000 signatures. Despite the condition that a subject should not have been discussed in the past two years, the assessment committee asked the chairman to plan in the debate, because of the overwhelming interest in the EU. European Commission / Flickr On behalf of Burgerforum EU, Thierry Baudet, publicist, addressed two main points of concern during his opening speech: the sneaky transfer of powers to the EU needs to stop, and a referendum needs to be held among the Dutch before any more power is transferred. Initially only the PVV sided with Burgerforum EU, but the debate took a surprising turn when a majority of parliament, with all political parties present, agreed with the platform about being conservative with transferring more power to the EU. Even a referendum passed the voting, although with a narrow majority. Since the last European treaty change there have been no new power transfers to Brussel, making a referendum unnecessary, according to minister Timmermans. 'A referendum does not solve any problems,' said the Foreign Affairs Minister. There are, however, two draft laws awaiting approval from the Senate, that will make consultative and corrective referendums possible. These laws will enable referenda about changes in the EU-treaty. Parliament approved these laws with a broad majority. The Senate should review these new laws before the summer. If they are approved, citizens may demand a referendum, under condition of at least 300,000 support votes.