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Sophie In’t Veld of the ALDE, speaks about public opinion in the European Union.

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It’s often said that there is no such thing as a European public opinion … to a large extent that is true. At the same time, we have seen embryonic forms of cross-border consensus and international public opinion …

These embyronic examples include protests against the war on Iraq, the ‘freedom of speech’ debate sparked by the Danish cartoons, and anti-globalisation protesters.

She also notes the lack of engagement by stakeholders during the Dutch referendum on the EU Constitution:

In the whole campaign, with the notable exception of the employers’ organisation, everyone else were completely absent. I was expecting all of these organisations [civil society, social partners, environmental movements ] to come out with a public recommendation to their audience. … None of that happened.

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