On May 29, the French rejected the European Constitutional Treaty and such democratic choice has to be accepted. We can not continue pretending that nothing has happened. _Europe is facing an identity crisis, and not just in France and Holland. We have witnessed a divorce between the States and the peoples. Due to the incapacity to have a clear and coherent vision towards the future, Europe separated from the citizens. A political course has to be set for the European Union. Since long ago, we have hesitated between a Europe-market and a Europe with real political means. Today, more than ever, we should defend the choice of the political Europe since it is considered that between the nation and globalized world, Europe is still an appropriate step of regulation, cooperation, solidarity and action. This is the true debate and not the fight between the “old” and the “new ones” as some people say.
The latest version of the Luxemburg proposal included an increase of more than 30% for research costs and other areas with future, whereas the Agricultural Common Policy witnessed how part of its budget was reduced up to a third of the total amount compared to more than a half just less than 10 years ago. This evidenced that the European Union has turned into the future. The European leaders share the will to make Europe to achieve a higher growth and greater competitiveness. But we also want it to keep on being loyal to its premises since 50 years ago, something that should be preserved: cooperation, common use of resources, solidarity. This is the vision that France is trying to defend.
Faced by the risk of a “negative spiral”, the European Council decided to interrupt the ratification process of the Constitutional Treaty. This active notion should lead, however, neither to destroy the community achievements nor to question the 50 years of European constitution. For those who present the Common Agricultural Policy as something from the past, we should analyze the advantages and disadvantages of the actions and reforms undertaken. We are not just talking about assisting farmers but also the agricultural autonomy of our continent, our commercial capacity to gain segments of the foreign market.
The reflection period should be used to address openly and collectively all the issues. France would have to defend its values, convictions and interests and recover itself the spirit of the founding fathers, adapted to today’s realities. However, it should not prevent us from addressing the current big issues:
- We should reactivate the policy in favor of growth and employment, thus giving new impetus to the Lisbon strategy. Research is an essential area.
- We should relieve and protect our citizens. There has to be a space for freedom within the European continent which the citizens fear no longer because they will know that this space is under clear and accepted regulations by everyone.
- The role of Europe in the world. Iraq proved on the contrary, Europe should be united to reaffirm a diplomacy and defense that would enable it to preserve its position in the world and speak out with a strong voice and autonomy.

Source
Le Monde (France)

Europe : l’heure de vérité” , by Philippe Douste-Blazy, Le Monde, June 21, 2005.