While the whole of Europe was commemorating the end of the Second World War in Europe yesterday, Dutch prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende used the opportunity to plug the EU constitution.
Speaking at a US military ceremony in Margraten, southern Netherlands, he recalled the determination of European leaders after the fall of Nazi Germany in 1945 to unite to prevent a new war. They realised, he said, "that cooperation was the best guarantee of lasting peace."
"Time has proved them right," he added, speaking just before Bush. "European cooperation has brought us 60 years of peace, progress and security. The EU is about to take the next step: ratification of the European constitution," he said.
Unashamedly puffing his cause, he went on to say: "We believe in the words of the constitution, that 'Europe, reunited after bitter experiences, intends to continue along the path of civilisation, progress and prosperity'".
Of course, the EU has had nothing to do with keeping the peace in Europe, as we demonstrate here. But, for these creatures, nothing is sacred and anything is grist to the mill when it comes to promoting the "project".