The stunning failure of the Brussels Summit is the sign that the Europe of “No” has begun. Tony Blair thought he could negotiate the cease of the British discount vs. the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), reducing the latter to its simple competitive aspect. Jacques Chirac’s opposition as well as that of the new member countries wrecked Blair’s maneuver. If the European Constitution Treaty (ECT) had been adopted, CPA’s decisions as from November 2006 would have been made by mutual agreement with the Parliament, which could have reoriented it. I was then in Lima, working with our Latin-American colleagues, who felt deeply disappointed by the ECT failure. For them, the miscarriage of the creation of a political Europe meant the unlikelihood of a multi-polar world.
To prevent Europe from getting bogged down, an analysis must be carried out to see what caused the “yes” failure, which principally results from the antisocial policies applied at European and national levels. Other electors rejected the European construction as such. This rejection has taken an nationalist, absolutist and xenophobic direction. That “no” must be fought by all pro-European progressives. That “no” exasperates me because it condemns us to impotence. It breaks up the French-German friendship, affects Spanish left-wing voters. Yet, the anti-liberal component of the vote must be taken into account, and not let ourselves be driven by discontent.
I regret the lack of initiative of the “no” supporters. Within a year now, those who followed them will only be able to corroborate the absence of renegotiations. Probably we’ll still be clinging on to Maastricht and the Nice Treaty. A long time (years) will elapse before a new text should emerge. Shall we ratify it? Currently, they at the Commission and at the City of London want to remove chapter II and III and reinsert some “useful” parts from chapter I. This way, liberals would have their own constitution. However, the risk of undoing the Union’s lace shouldn’t be ruled out. The disappearance of the French-German motor, the increase of tensions around the European budget, the Polish bitterness for feeling offended by the “no” supporters’ speech would generate a gradual dismantling of the Union. In the face of this triple threat, the European Parliament must contribute its help. Though the death of the Constitution should deprive the Parliament from this initiative right, the parliament can, however, help Europe to come out of its crises by designing a project that can be adopted by all European nations.

Le Monde (France)

"L’Europe du non a commencé", by Alain Lipietz, Le Monde, June 24, 2005.