The rejection of the European Constitution Treaty (ECT) by the French and the Dutch has turned the Brussels summit into a turning point. Tony Blair is right when he asks for a break in order to think about it but this should not prevent us from giving strategic evidence. I consider that the Constitution meant progress for the EU but we are democracies and we cannot force France and the Netherlands to accept this text. However, without these two countries, things are senseless and this is something that the European Council must admit.
We need to restore our confidence in the EU. Our peoples have had too little to do with the changes undertaken by the Union in the last 20 years. We must also adapt the institutions for the growth in a very particular way since this process should go on. We must as well develop reforms that will be unanimously accepted and make the EU more transparent. This must get started with the budget reform, and above all with the Common Agrarian Policy (CAP). Furthermore, it is a must that the too strict European economies are reformed but always respecting the social models of each State.
Be that as it may, the rejection of the ECT gives us a healthy lesson as to the consequences of the people’s separation from the European construction. We must stop turning Europe into a scapegoat in the face of national difficulties, and trust again the EU. We must also hand down to the next generation of European leaders that will replace Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schröder, Silvio Berlusconi or Tony Blair the task of transforming the EU.

The Independent (U.K.)

Bury the treaty and create a new vision for Europe”, by Charles Kennedy, The Independent, June 14, 2005.