Statement on the French and Dutch NOs to the EU constitution produced by the Dublin-based The National Platform EU Research and Information Centre, reproduced here for information
FIRST, ALL democrats should rejoice at the defeat of the conspiracy of the EU's governors against the governed which was the proposed EU Constitution.
Let us enjoy the dismay of the Eurocrats, the Eurofanatics and the Eurobullies: the politicians who get more personal power for themselves at the expense of national parliaments and citizens, as ever more functions of government are shifted from the national to the EU level: the bureaucrats in Brussels and the member states who are freed thereby from democratic control over their decisions; he journalists who have prostituted the values of objective reporting to become missionaries for the integration project; the paid ideologues of the European Movement and the Jean Monnet Professorships ...
As democrats let us rejoice to see Jean Monnet's Euro-federalist project now headed for the rocks of history as the Europe of that great political realist Charles de Gaulle reasserts itself again, the statesman who once said: "Europe is a Europe of the nations and the states or it is nothing."
The peoples of France and Holland have dealt a mighty blow to supranationalism and Euro-federalism. What is now to be done?
1. STRENGTHEN CROSS-NATIONAL LINKS
The most important thing for democrats and EU-critics across our continent to do is to strengthen the links forged in cross-national campaigns against the EU constitution and keep in touch with and support one another in the time ahead as the Eurofederalists regroup. Democrats on the left and on the right have a common interest in defending the nation state and national democracy. They should continue to cooperate or work in parallel, excluding any truck with racist or neo-fascist movements, through such networks as TEAM (The European Alliance of EU-critical Movements), the European No Campaign etc.
2. THE PEOPLE WANT COOPERATION NOT CONTROL IN EUROPE
Cherry-picking the EU constitution and seeking to implement it in bits and pieces despite the French and Dutch No votes would be a blatant affront to democracy. All attempts by EU governments to do this should be vigorously opposed. The EU does not need a constitution. The Treaty of Nice proclaimed itself as the EU's enlargement treaty. We need a Europe of free trade between its developed economies. We need cooperation between states on common problems, not supranational control from above by the non-elected EU Commission, the power-hungry EU Court of Justice and the oligarchy of the EU Council of Ministers.
3. REPATRIATE POWERS FROM BRUSSELS TO THE EU MEMBER STATES
Democrats should now insist on a proper debate on Europe's future and on what the peoples of Europe, not the EU elite, desire. This should take place in the 25 national parliaments and among the citizens of the EU countries. Not one of the national parliaments discussed THE PRINCIPLE of whether they wanted an EU constitution prior to the Eurofederalists deciding that they would try to foist one on them.
We do not need 100,000 pages of EU laws that seek to harmonise everything. The corrupt and inefficient Brussels apparatus must be dismantled. Powers should be repatriated from the EU to the nation states: foreign and security policy, crime and justice policy, immigration policy, monetary policy, health policy, fisheries policy, much of the reactionary Common Agricultural Policy, which exploits the world's poor countries while making our own food more expensive. The possibility of doing this was mooted in the Laeken Declaration which set out the terms of reference of the Convention on the Future of Europe that drew up the EU constitution. Yet the Constitution did not propose devolving a single power from Brussels. It provided instead that Brussels should be given many more powers. The EU budget should be drastically cut. EU national offices should be closed down. The Commission's vast propaganda budget should be abolished.
4. RESTORE NATIONAL CURRENCIES ACROSS EUROPE:
The currency markets and the euro's own internal contradictions will ensure that the euro will now never become the currency of all 25 EU states. The split over the EU constitution between France and Germany on the one hand and the UK, Sweden, Denmark and the Central and east European states on the other, corresponds to the fault-line between those inside and outside the eurozone.
The Constitution was meant to provide a federal state political superstructure for the euro; but now that will never be. What we have is one currency and 12 states, with no one state responsible for maintaining the euro's value. The French want "social France" and a 35-hour working week. The British want liberalism, free-marketry and a 48-hour week. Both are entitled to what their people want, but they are not entitled to try to impose it on everyone else through the EU in the name of "social Europe" - or "liberal Europe" for that matter.
Each country can decide its own policy on such issues if they have their own national currencies, so that movements in the exchange rate would take the strain of different policies. That canot happen in an EU monetary union. The euro may last some years yet, but its days are numbered. As Otmar Issing, governor of the European Central Bank, has said: "There is no example in history of a lasting monetary union that was not part of one state."
5. AN ALTERNATIVE EU OF DEMOCRACIES
The outline of an alternative EU that was produced by dissident members of Giscard's convention, including Denmark's Jens-Peter Bonde MEP, the Czech Republic's Jan Zahradil MP, Britain's David Heathcoat-Amory MP, Ireland's John Gormley TD and others, provides a sensible interim programme of reforms for a more slimmed-down, more democratic and more decentralised EU for those who want that. Its details can be found at www.bonde.com , www.euabc.com, and in the convention's own report. People should copy it from there and disseminate it widely as one practical scheme for an EU that is closer to what the peoples of the EU want than the EU that currently exists.
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