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Cablegate: Eu Council Puts Dutch in Awkward Position

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L THE HAGUE 003067

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/14/2013
TAGS: EU NL PREL
SUBJECT: EU COUNCIL PUTS DUTCH IN AWKWARD POSITION


Classified By: AMBASSADOR CLIFFORD SOBEL FOR REASONS 1.5 B AND D

1. (C) Dutch Politic...



12703

2003-12-15

03THEHAGUE3067

Embassy The Hague

CONFIDENTIAL


C O N F I D E N T I A L THE HAGUE 003067

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/14/2013
TAGS: EU NL PREL
SUBJECT: EU COUNCIL PUTS DUTCH IN AWKWARD POSITION


Classified By: AMBASSADOR CLIFFORD SOBEL FOR REASONS 1.5 B AND D

1. (C) Dutch Political Director Hugo Siblesz told Amb Sobel
on December 15 that the failure of the EU Council to agree on
a constitution this weekend means that the Inter-Governmental
Council (IGC) likely will continue through the Dutch
presidency. He said the wounds are too raw for a solution
to be easily found during the Irish presidency in the first
semester of 2004. POL Counselor asked about the Dutch
position on a two-speed Europe, noting that the Benelux
countries were among those cited as possible participants and
yet the Dutch historically do not want to choose sides among
the UK, Germany and France. Siblesz said that a two-speed
Europe would pose a major dilemma for the Dutch government.
He said that even were the Dutch eventually to join such a
movement, they would not do so until after their presidency.
Siblesz also said that Italian PM Berlusconi's method of
trying to resolve IGC problems through bilateral discussions
was a mistake because it deprived him of the peer pressure
that would have come out of group sessions. Privately, other
officials said it was clear that Chirac was not going to
compromise under any circumstance. Siblesz said Chirac was
trying to claw back from Nice.
2. (C) Subsequently, POL Counselor spoke with Peter de
Gooijer, Office Director for EU affairs and a man very close
to FM Bot. De Gooijer said the Dutch consider it very
important not to jump to the conclusion that the failure in
Brussels last weekend automatically opens the possibility of
a two-speed Europe. Rather, de Gooijer said they should let
the dust settle and tempers ease, then talk to the Irish
about how to further the process during the Irish presidency.
De Gooijer said that even if the Dutch must assume the IGC,
they would be under no obligation to set a deadline for the
end of their presidency. He said the Dutch already have a
full agenda they do not want to derail: setting the
principles for the budget debate and advancing Tampere.
SOBEL

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