Commenting on the result of the Dutch referendum on the European constitution, Monica Frassoni and Daniel Cohn-Bendit, co-presidents of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, said:
"Following the French example, the Dutch voters have also sent a strong message to their governments and to Europe. They do not trust their leaders and they do not believe that Europe can positively deal with their fears and troubles. The Greens regret that this mistrust has resulted in a negative vote on the European constitution, which – despite its limitations – contained many positive advances."
"We do not favour halting the ratification process. Europe's people should have the right to take a position on the constitutional treaty. If the process stops now we would send the message that the constitution is dead and we would have no option other than continuing with the present highly unsatisfactory treaties."
"But to go on with 'business as usual' would be a big mistake.
We need a new European initiative; a change of direction. The European Commission, Council and Parliament should do some soul searching to find ways out of the current crisis. Their ideas should be discussed in a public debate between the institutions – the citizens have a right to know what the people in charge of the Union think and discuss."
"The European Parliament should now become the place where the debate among Europeans and on Europe starts. Following a first discussion on the consequences of the French and the Dutch No in Strasbourg next week, the Greens have asked to dedicate the entire mini-session in Brussels on 22-23 June to a solemn debate in the presence of the Council and Commission. During these two days, which follow the European Summit, the Parliament should discuss nothing but the future of Europe."
"We are also looking outside the EU institutions. On Monday 27 June, the Greens will hold a meeting in Brussels with representatives of NGOs, networks and trade unions in favour of the constitution to discuss how we can together regain the support of the people for the European project."