On 2nd June 2005 the Parliament of Latvia (Saeima) ratified the EU constitution. The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Artis Pabriks called this a victory over the “intimidated voters” of the EU states, apparently meaning citizens of France and the Netherlands, who this week democratically expressed their opinion on the EU constitution.
However, the people of Latvia were deprived of an opportunity to express their attitude towards Europe’s basic legislation. A proposal to hold a referendum on this issue put forward by “For Human Rights in United Latvia” was rejected by the ruling coalition. Now Latvia finds itself in an odd situation: our legislative organ has approved the project of the virtually rejected EU constitution. The EU obviously has long and complicated negotiations ahead of it. But it is already clear that the national majority of the Latvian Saeima is not interested in a dialogue with society regarding united Europe’s difficult problems.
For that reason our faction abstained from the parliamentary voting on the European constitution. Neither Europe nor the people of Latvia need an inoperative document. Europe will only become a democratic union if at each state’s national level all people’s opinion is taken into account, not solely elite’s position. From this position we defend not only the rights of our voters in Latvia, but also the principles of European democracy.