EU institutions: Netherlands wants less Europe almost everywhere

24 June 2013
Presseurop
EUobserver.com, De Volkskrant

The Dutch coalition government said in a memo published on June 21 that: "The Netherlands is convinced that the time of an “ever closer union” in every possible policy area is behind us", reports the EUobserver. According to the news website, the memo “said the Union's slogan should be "European where necessary, national where possible." It also said –

there is a ‘strong need’ for joint EU action on big-ticket items, such as economic governance, migration and defence. But it noted that a review of EU powers by its foreign minister, Frans Timmermans, shows an equal need for ‘creating a European Union that is more modest, more sober.’

Sheila Sitalsing of De Volkskrant is not positive about the memo –

On the government’s list is school milk and school fruit. That is a pertinent question. Because the indoctrination of schoolchildren with free apples is a flagrant attack on the sovereign nation state, but it has nothing to do with the essential ideas about Europe or the call back of policy areas. [...] EU member states could agree on the fact they should stay away of each other’s tax systems, but if they subsequently give the power to Olli Rehn to make constraining economical ‘policy recommendations’ [...] this directly affects the tax system. [...] The government has given a gift to the audience, a bone to keep the Eurosceptics quiet.