Government Statement in Response to Netherlands Referendum
The Government very much regrets the outcome of the referendum in The Netherlands on the European Constitution. The rejection of the European Constitution in The Netherlands, following its rejection by voters in France, is clearly a significant setback.
We fully respect the democratic right of the Dutch people to decide on the European Constitution, just as we respect the decisions of the nine Member States which have already ratified.
The situation is now very complex. It is important that everyone reflect carefully. The Taoiseach will discuss the matter when he meets tomorrow with the President of the European Council, Prime Minister Juncker of Luxembourg, and with Chancellor Schroeder of Germany.
At its meeting on 16/17 June the European Council will have a full discussion and will consider the implications of the new situation.
The Government remains firmly of the view that the European Constitution is strongly in Ireland's interest and in that of the European Union as a whole. We have already published our Referendum legislation and are continuing to make preparations for a referendum.