The Netherlands Council of State is an independent, respected and authoritative body. It offers the Dutch government expert legal opinion on legislation.
The Council of State’s opinion, delivered on 12 September, emphasises the differences between the Constitutional Treaty and the proposed Reform Treaty. According to the Council:
“Unlike the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, it (the Reform Treaty) provides no arguments for a gradual expansion of the EU towards a more explicit state or federation.
The purpose of these changes, taken together, is to rid the proposed Reform Treaty as far as possible of the elements from the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe which could have formed a basis for the development of the EU into a more explicit state or federation.
All this means that the proposed Reform Treaty is substantially different from the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe”.