Denmark to decide next week on EU reform treaty referendum

The Danish government was next week to decide on a possible referendum on the new EU reform treaty, Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Tuesday.

Denmark to decide next week on EU reform treaty referendum
At his weekly news conference, Rasmussen said the government's final decision would be based on "a comprehensive political assessment."

Elements included a review from the Justice Ministry on the final text and assessments from parliament's committee on European affairs, the premier said.

The 143-page Justice Ministry review sent to parliament Tuesday said the new treaty did not transfer sovereignty from Denmark, and therefore the government was not obliged to call a referendum.

The premier said that in his view there was a difference between the reform treaty and the treaty, which rejection in 2005 by voters in France and the Netherlands forced EU leaders to rework it.

"The new treaty is different on key points," Ramussen said, noting that all mention of a constitution has been removed.

Denmark joined the EU in 1973, but obtained opt-outs after voters initially rejected the Maastricht Treaty in a 1992 referendum.

The opt-outs include the economic and monetary union, security and defence policy, and justice and home affairs.

After elections in November, Rasmussen said the government planned a referendum on one or all of the opt-outs without specifying a date.

At his news conference he said he did not want to link the EU treaty ratification process with the opt-out issues as they have been called by the new centrist New Alliance party.

His minority government between his Liberal Party and the Conservatives are under pressure to stage a referendum from their main parliamentary backers, the Danish People's Party.

The recent elections resulted in a drop for Rasmussen's Liberals. The centre-right minority government has therefore also had to secure backing from the New Alliance party that wants a comprehensive EU policy.

The opposition Social Democrats and other pro-EU parties have yet to weigh in.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Aralık 2007, 16:03