The French rejected the constitution a couple of days ago, and today the Dutch are doing the same thing. Projections based on more than half of the ballots point towards a resounding 62% majority of no-votes. Again, the outcome was expected but the strength of it perhaps was not.
I will not repeat the things I’ve said earlier about what should happen now, nor about the constitution itself. Many attempts have been made at explaining these sentiments – the poor economy, fear of “neo-liberal” or “anglo-saxon” markets in France and unwillingness to integrate even further, in the Netherlands, who dislike the increasing centralism. Some of these points are good and valid – many, especially claims that this treaty would lead to ultra liberalism, are not.
One of the more interesting articles on the subject, and indeed on the very constitution itself, was published in the Wall Street Journal today, written by David Frum and Jeffrey Cimbalo. Among other things they write:
“French opponents of the EU Constitution charge that it is an “Anglo-Saxon” document that would impose a harsh “neo-liberal” free-market regime. In truth, the EU Constitution owes little or nothing to the constitutional traditions of the English-speaking world. It would establish a legislature that cannot write laws, a judiciary that can act even when no law has been broken, and an executive that is not elected by and is barely accountable to anyone or anything. As for accusations of “neo-liberalism,” they miss the point. The Constitution vastly expands the powers of the unelected and largely unaccountable European Commission and the unelected and wholly unaccountable European Court of Justice (ECJ).”
They also point out that the attempts at a foreign policy that are made in the constitution, with a common Foregin minister among other things, should worry those of us who hold the trans-atlantic alliance high in regard. It is my view that this is not an area in which the EU has to dig deeper – NATO is the tool we need, and already have. Also, perhaps a more pragmatic point in that issue is that the Iraq war made it obvious that there is no such thing as a European view on foreign policy – and I think there are quite a couple of us who would have been very sad to see the British, Poles and Danes held back from liberating Iraq from Saddam Hussein by France and Germany.
The article can be read in it’s entirety here. It’s a good piece, well worth reading. Perhaps in particular for those of you who endorses this constitution.
(Thanks to Peder Hyllengren for the heads up.)