October 11, 2006
EU Commissioner Mandelson wants to avoid asking the people
Acording to E!Sharp magazine EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson stated explicitly that any new treaty that requires a referendum is practically doomed. He argues: “I don ’t think it (the EU Constitution) is susceptible to quick fixes. I am tempted to argue that we should identify those elements of the existing draft treaty that are the most necessary and most important and effective in meeting our institutional needs and stripping away the rest.” But French, Dutch and other voters may demand a say at the polls, while EU referendums are a constitutional requirement in countries such as Ireland. Mandelson would love to avoid this problem: “We have to come to terms with the fact that getting any constitutional treaty past a referendum in our member states will be an uphill struggle.”
Therefore he would prefer to adopt only theses parts of the EU Constitution that could pass without the need to ask the people. Mandelson: “Anything that crosses the threshold of requiring a referendum will immediately run into difficulties.” It is obvious that Peter Mandelson is clear that any new text can not be “hostage to democratic votes” as The ParliamentMagazine put it.
Sources: E!Sharp: Bringing Europe a round - TheParliamentMagazine: Brussels questions future of EU referendums