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Knowledge of EU Constitution very low

THE SLOVAK public know little about the European Constitutional treaty and discussion about it is insufficient, Peter Zsapka, of the Centre for European Policy pointed out in the Hospodárske noviny daily.

The fact that ratification of the treaty will be made by
parliament is one of the reasons why politicians do not feel the need to explain the issue to people.

Public opinion polls however suggest that the interest of people in a referendum on the Constitution is growing. Accession to the EU was accompanied by a massive information campaign in Slovakia, but that is not the case now.

"The government will not allocate extra financial resources for an explanatory campaign as was right before and after EU accession," said Martin Urmanič, spokesman for Pál Csáky, the deputy prime minister for European Affairs.

However, the European Commission (EC) considers dialogue with citizens about the Constitution important. The EC will organize a separate information campaign on that issue.

The Slovak cabinet wants to cooperate with non-governmental organizations on the issue. Csáky's spokesman thinks the text of the EU Constitution is too complicated and it will be difficult to explain its core messages. However he offered a solution to the public: "Whoever is interested and has some time, can read the text on the Internet at the website of the Government Office".

Compiled by Marta Ďurianová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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