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Europe

Policies Back To Member States, Says Dutch Foreign Minister

Less than a month before the start of the Dutch EU presidency, Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot signals the Dutch government may be less "integrationist" than some might think.

Less than a month before the start of the Dutch European Union presidency, Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot signaled in a keynote speech that the Dutch government might be less "integrationist" on EU policy than some might think. Speaking at Berlin's Humboldt University on Wednesday, Bot said that the maximum level of EU integration acceptable to citizens has been reached, and that some EU competencies should indeed be transferred back to member states. According to Bot, there is a growing "gap" between the competencies of the EU and its legitimacy because of the rapid transfer of political power to the EU in the last 13 years, a period in which three major EU treaties were signed. "[There has been] a lot of integration in a very short time. Citizens will need to have the possibility to accommodate to the integration of Europe. As far as I am concerned, this means that we will need to stop making new treaties and changes for a while in the coming years," he said. ( EUobserver.com)

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