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Report: Dutch Tweede Kamer debate from 10 March 2005

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On 10 March 2005, the Dutch parliament continued discussions about the behaviour of Minister Brinkhorst in the Council sessino of 7 March. The minister managed to talk himself out of it, but below you can find some of the more interesting quotes from the full debate.

The players

Excerpts from the debate

Van Dam (!PvdA): "Chairman. I am really surprised. The party that that has claimed for approximately fourty years that they strive for democracy is saying: 'we really don't give a damn if you discuss this in shady, informal circuits; I don't give a damn how that works or what the procedures are or how they should be; I don't care one bit about the fact that the decision making process is being hidden from democratic checks and balances. Well, I, Bert Bakker of D66, don't give a damn about that'!"

Minister Brinkhorst: "He !Danish minister came to the conclusion that it was not wise to persist. If he hadn't done that, his request would have been voted on and then we would have lost another 15 minutes. That was how things were. Again, I'm not the one who decides this. Those were the considerations of the Luxembourg chairman and the Danish government. I only say that I think that Luxembourg followed a correct procedure. The motivation behind not persisting at a B-item is only the Danish minister's concern."

Minister Brinkhorst: "It's about the decision making process and the chairman should ask himself what serves the decision making process best. The chairman did that. Did I play a role in that process? Certainly. We had a banquet on Sunday evening. People have informal talks during such a banquet. I told the Danish minister, my colleague Bendtsen, that if Denmark would pose the request, The Netherlands would support this. That's the situation. The Luxembourg chairman then said; we would appreciate it if we could finalise an already made political agreement -- again, an agreement reached in May 2004 -- so we can progress to the second reading."

Full stenographic report

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