FNSEA has never issued directives related to voting, and in that same sense, the Constitutional Treaty will not be an exception. But since the times in which we live do not allow for misrepresentation, I decided to speak personally about my decision to vote “yes.” I opted for this considering that Europe was worth more than hesitation and doubt. Europe is our goal and, for a long time, the goal of we farmers! In France, equally on the left as on the right, the partisans and the detractors of the text attack with 2007 or personal strategies in their minds or they are use a load of technical arguments without much interest. Let us speak rather of the vitality of Europe: of peace, the heart, passion...

 Peasants have built Europe, a cooperative and efficient Europe. The PAC, as the only integrated policy of the European Union is known, fed this pro-European sentiment of French farmers despite the 2003 reform. Nevertheless, I worry about the growing discouragement that exists; the poor reform of PAC must not make one forget 40 years of success. In the fields, however, hands tremble to vote “yes,” because people are worried about incomes that get smaller each year that passes. Nevertheless, we have to give the example. When saying “yes” to a text that will, starting today, give us the necessary unity to face to the US’s power, Chinese’s’ ambitions and the brutal blows of South Americans within framework of WTO negotiations, we are granting ourselves new opportunities for victory.

 Europe is not limited to agriculture and this treaty will allow our children to have a Europe sufficiently strong to face the United States, and to those who cause trouble - as much in Iraq as in the WTO. Europe deserves this treaty, because in the text is the road that Monet and Schuman began. To vote for it is to give France the opportunity to have more weight in the heart of an unstable world. To vote for it is to defend a democratic European model, it is to give a soul to Europe.

 If I had to cite a final argument to convince my rural friends, I would only tell them to looks at what represents the right to make demands, something endorsed by a million signatures. The opportunity to make a very organized and united European agricultural sector is proven by the old COPA group (Committee of Professional Agricultural Organizations of the European Union) made up of the main European agricultural unions. This right to make demands will partly replace interminable or ill-comprehended demonstrations.

Source: Le Figaro (France)

Reference : «Doter l’Union d’une âme», por Jean-Michel Lemétayer, Le Figaro, 24 de mayo de 2005.