The Constitutional Treaty must be judged by both its own merits and its chances of negotiating or not a better treaty with our 24 fellow members, but the position of non-European members, particularly the United States, must also be taken into account: that allows a better understanding, indirectly, of what this Constitution represents. If its text were to be rejected, and mainly by the French, that news would be received with great derision and a triumphant feeling by Washington’s conservative and neo-conservative circles. Such a vote would weaken the multilateral circles for the benefit of the unilateral ones since the true axis of the debate does not bring Europe face to face with the U.S. but puts it only out of phase crossing both shores of the Atlantic.
In fact, there are two schools in conflict. The first prevails in Washington and also regroups the conservative circles of Great Britain or Eastern Europe, who urge voting for a NO. For them, the United States must rule the world; it is a «generous empire», whose allies should help and follow without further inquiring. According to this concept the U.S. bilateral relationships with other countries prevail at the UN and the «coalitions a la carte» play the multilateral role. For the second school, which regroups the realistic republicans and most of the democrats, the affairs of our globalized world, from terrorism to drug trafficking, cannot be settled without an institutionalized cooperation. However, this second school, closer to the ideals shared by the majority of Europeans, needs a European Union that will make its voice heard in the international arena so that it has weight on the internal debates of the United States and guides this country into cooperation rather than hegemony. The correlation of forces within Washington reflects the state of the international system.
If the Constitution is rejected, the unilateral party of the first school would be strengthened. In fact, the adoption of the Constitution would not be like a magic wand that suddenly gave us a unified and consistent policy, but a contribution of substantial advances, which would reassert our ideals and our own interests, our vision of the world.

Libération (France)
Libération followed a long path since its creation by philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre to its acquisition by financier Edouard de Rothschild. Circulation: 150,000 copies.

A Dependent Europe or an Equal Europe”, by Justin Vaisse, Libération, May 2, 2005.