In a month now, the French will have said yes or no to the constitutional treaty. A dozen of countries will follow them. The rest, by tradition or prudence, will hold their parliamentarians responsible for the ratification. The elementary parliamentary prudence was abandoned in France in the interests of a top risk: a referendum, that is, a principle that all republicans must reject as it may tend to become a plebiscite. The electors take the risk of pronouncing themselves on the basis of the trust professed to the President of the Republic and his government, and not on a complex text fruit of a commitment. However, every cloud has a silver lining, as this allows the French to discuss an essential matter.
The discussion is one stage of the process. Most electors were born after the construction of the European Union and only were aware of the disorders (i.e., war, poverty, dictatorships) put away by the European Union through history books. Based on this, it would be tempting to believe that peace, prosperity and democracy could be achieved in a different way. In this regard, we all have turned into Europeans. Simply, in order to be sure to continue to be so, it is preferable to say yes to the text that sometimes serves as Constitution for Europe. In fact, that text is the transition point towards a political Europe. However, the future of the world will be decided by three or four heavyweight: the United States and probably the Latin American Group; China, India and Europe if it so decides. If it wants so. This text gives the European Union a critical organized mass that would allow it to exert pressure on world issues.
]We could consider that the text does not go too far; that it is awkward to attach to it the implementation of the existing accords, that it is improper to describe it as “Constitution”. But one thing is for sure, once ratified, the treaty would allow Europe to exist from the political point of view whereas it has only been an economic, trade and monetary giant. So far some 25 states, and soon they will be 30 states, are immersed on the task to develop a political Europe. In Washington, New Delhi and Beijing an answer to the following questioned is expected: will there be a European sitting along the big ones at the table tomorrow?
The treaty will provide the European Union with a presidency with an emblematic dimension, stronger than the rotational presidency. By appointing in the same way a Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Europe is gaining international presence. The treaty has other qualities. It secures the functioning of Europe to be better from the social point of view, more democratic and more favorable to France at the same time. This treaty, from the social point of view recognizes that there are some tasks of the public service that slip out of the competitive sphere, and the Chart of the Fundamental Rights grants some rights that can be referred to by any citizen at a court. Therefore, the European Confederation of Trade Unions and all European socialist parties support the text. The European Union will be more democratic since the Parliament’s powers will be strengthened. And France benefits from it since the draft project increases its weight within the European Council, where it will count tomorrow on 13.4% of the rights to vote against the 9% within the current Nice Treaty. Something even more concrete in the case of the French-German duo, the historic engine of the European construction, whose rights will go from 18 to 31.4 %.
The results of the current surveys prove the lack of confidence regarding the political power which did not take advantage of the lessons presented by the 2004 election results. But also a lack of confidence in a Europe that is suspicious of hindering the French model or even destroying it. The negative vote is a sign of protest against unemployment and the social suffering that it implies. The voters seduced by the negative vote, went down the wrong way: unemployment is a French problem. Europe constitutes a possibility for France as long as it wins the “yes” vote.

Le Monde (France)

Tous Européens”, by Jean-Marie Colombani, Le Monde, April 29, 2005.