The Thing Part 2
European Commission President Jose Barroso asked individual countries not to draw premature conclusions from the Dutch rejection of the European draft constitution.
Late last night European Commission president Jose Manual Barroso pleaded with Britain and the rest to avoid any “unilateral decisions” about referendums and let the dust settle until an EU summit on June 16 which is now a full blown crisis management meeting. ... Mr Barroso carefully avoided insisting that ratification had to go on beyond the summit, but Luxembourg prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who will host the summit meeting, was adamant, declaring: "The show must go on".
But the injunction against unilateral action went unheeded -- or did not apply -- to German Chanceller Schroeder, who proposed opening the old show in a different theater even while the cast of the current production was being pelted with tomatoes.
German chancellor Gerard Schroeder made a bold bid to form a new "inner circle" of fast-track European Union member states. He used the EU treaty crisis to revive efforts to establish a close-knit core group of nations forging ahead with key policies regardless of the rest. ... The offer on the table was said to be a new deal in which the original six EU member states – Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg – would re-establish their founding-father status in the EU driving seat.
The International Herald Tribune describes the forced gaiety in Brussels as it looked forward to other opening nights.
"The debate must continue," said Jean-Claude Juncker, prime minister of Luxembourg and the current holder of the rotating EU presidency. ... The ratification process should continue in other member states, Juncker said, because "we want other member states to have the opportunity to tackle the same debate." ... "The overwhelming majority of countries will want to continue the process of ratification," said John Palmer, political director of the European Policy Center in Brussels. "They want to give everyone the right to hear their opinion."
Some Dutch commentators, on the other hand, argued that opinions were precisely what Brussels did not want to hear. "The Dutch were never asked about the introduction of the euro, enlargement, Turkey," said Rob Boudewegm, senior fellow at the Clingendael Institute of International Relations in The Hague. "This is the first time they can give their opinion and it is no."