European bouquet incomplete without English rose

2016-05-25 19:00
A cake with a picture of Queen Beatrix, Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima on it in Dutch confectionery in Amsterdam. (Remko De Waal, AFP)

A cake with a picture of Queen Beatrix, Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima on it in Dutch confectionery in Amsterdam. (Remko De Waal, AFP)

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Brussels - Dutch King Willem-Alexander has used a speech to the European Parliament to make a plea for unity less than a month before Britain's referendum on whether to remain in the 28-nation bloc.

Speaking on Wednesday in Brussels, Willem-Alexander said the "European bouquet" is not complete "without the English rose."

The king also highlighted shortcomings that have strained relations in Europe and fed a growing sceptical sentiment among the bloc's 500 million citizens.

He said that by concentrating on "essential issues which truly require a common approach," the EU will become more effective and can address concerns that its powers are too sweeping and centralized.

The Netherlands is a founding member and strong supporter of the EU, but also rejected the bloc's proposed constitution in a 2005 referendum.

Read more on:    eu  |  king willem-alexander  |  europe  |  brexit

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