Instead of responding to the critical voices, the eu summit has been a "period of reflection"
"It has been a gross mistake to send the full text of the treaty to all french households", giscard d’estaing reproached french president jacques chirac in mid-june. In march, he had warned him of this, because it would be "is not possible that all understand the whole text". And yet the clever giscard d’estaing, in his function as chairman of the convention, contributed to the text and even refers to it literally as my document so much vanity and arrogance doesn’t leave much room for democracy anymore. Not even in brussels, where yesterday and today the eu heads of government met to deal with their crisis.
Jose manuel barroso and jean-claude juncker. Image: tom wagner.Lu
The "europe of the burgers" met again in brussel: barricaded behind spanish horsemen, nato wire and water cannons. And once again, that so fondly quoted "europe of burgers" proved to be a europe of the elites, completely incapable of even beginning to address the critical voices of the naysayers who are calling for a social and democratic europe. Instead, after the clear votes on the eu treaty in france and the netherlands, they now have a "period of reflection" initiated.
Does this political prose mean that before the referendums there had been no "thinking" given? Have the elites plunged headlong into disaster? But no, they do not mean themselves. The heads of government in brussels have left no doubt that nothing is to be changed in the verfang. They are referring to the voters in france and the netherlands, who have clearly rejected this approach, and to those from other european countries who share their attitude. They should think. Or also: they should be thought about. Which can be understood as a threat.
The ratification process for the eu treaty, according to the decision of the eu heads of government, will be postponed by one year and will not be completed until 2007. Ratification is to continue uninterrupted in those countries where the parliaments vote. Where a referendum is planned, the national states will decide whether to suspend it. In key countries where a referendum was scheduled, they have already been canceled, z.B. In great britain and denmark. In luxembourg, the parliament will decide on a referendum these days, and in portugal, ireland and the czech republic there are also plans to put the referendum on hold. Only poland wants to hold on to it, where the yes-men still have a small majority according to the latest polls. And in finland and sweden, ratification has even been suspended in the parliaments because many of the elected representatives have always tended towards euroscepticism and are now feeling the wind blowing in their sails.
The tactic is as simple as it is transparent: since the weak spanish "yes" – after all, there was only 42 percent voter turnout there – pales in comparison to the clear "no" votes with high voter turnout in france and the netherlands, and since there was no advertising campaign to be made even before the referendum in france, the "no" voters are to be reduced to a historic slip-up. The luxembourg mr. Europe, jean claude junker, yesterday in a fatherly manner explained to french and dutch what they did wrong:
I am really convinced that neither the french nor the dutch have rejected the verfang. Unfortunately, the electorate did not realize that the treaty was particularly responsive to their concerns, so we need the period of reflection to explain it to our citizens.
Jean claude junker
The french will probably be allowed to vote again on the treaty after the presidential elections in 2007. The opponents of the treaty, who demonstrated last night in brussels and in the republic square in paris, want the treaty to be buried in order to open the discussion on a new treaty. Decisions on the constitution of europe should then no longer be made by a convention of elites, but by a constituent assembly whose representatives are directly elected.