On May 29, 2005, the French rejected the European Constitution Treaty (ECT) through a referendum. Three days later they were followed by the Dutch. Ever since, the international press hasn’t stopped talking about the future of Europe as an image and an institution, but the consequences of this voting decision can be extremely ambiguous.
Let’s analyze the French vote. Three groups are happy with the result: U.S. neo-cons, a large part of the French left-wing (principally the alterworldists) and the right-wing Euro-skeptics. For the U.S. neo-cons, the French “no” is a “no” to the arrogant anti-American European elites and to Jacques Chirac. For the alterworldists, it is the failure of a project imbued with Anglo-Saxon conservatism values imposed by the European Commission. For the Euro-skeptics, it also symbolizes a defeat of the European Commission, but for them it embodies socialism. It is additionally a refusal to Turkey’s entrance in the EU.
Evidently, as happens in each referendum, the "no" comprises various positions. If it won this time, it was due to the increasing fear of globalization on the part of the socialist and Green electorate in France and the fear of Muslim immigration to the Netherlands. This Treaty has died out, but this does not mean that the EU has done too. The EU will continue to be as it is today. Regrettably, many consider that its current functioning is not the best one. But a long time (years) will have to go by before the emergence of a new Treaty.
Tony Blair may be happy, because he did not have to organize a referendum in his country and because France has become weaker. The Bush administration, just as William Kristol, is pleased to see a divided Europe. Alterworldists gain ground and that destabilizes the left-wing parties which have little chance to win in 2007. Alterworldists will only be able to impose their points of view if they divert from the xenophobes with whom they voted, and if the Bush administration does not capitalize that voting. There cannot be a more social Europe without a more federal Europe. However, part of the left-wing fears lest federalism should only give rise to questioning the social achievements.

Al-Ahram (Egypt)

"Ambiguous answers", by Immanuel Wallerstein, Al-Ahram, June 24, 2005.