Le Dilemme européen de M. Blair

Tony Blair s’est remarquablement arrogé une troisième victoire successive aux élections britanniques. Cependant, sa majorité au parlement a été grandement érodée et sa réputation personnelle endommagée : sa position politique est donc sérieusement affaiblie. Il est donc mal placé pour gérer les défis à venir, notamment le plus intraitable : la nouvelle constitution de l’Union européenne.

La constitution, adoptée par les 25 États membres l’an dernier, n’est pas, en elle-même, un gros problème. Elle introduit certaines améliorations importantes pour le vote majoritaire du Conseil des ministres. Et donne des pouvoirs supplémentaires au parlement européen. Elle comprend une charte des droits fondamentaux. Elle permettra peut-être d’harmoniser les politiques étrangères des États membres. Mais ce n’est pas un document révolutionnaire en soi.

Selon les pratiques constitutionnelles traditionnelles britanniques, le gouvernement devrait ratifier cette constitution via un vote au parlement et jusqu’aux élections générales récentes, la forte majorité du gouvernement aurait plus que suffit. Cependant, M. Blair, en proie à la controverse de la guerre d’Irak, impopulaire et éventuellement illégale, a cru pouvoir éviter ces soucis parlementaires à Westminster en repoussant la ratification à 2006 (une date suffisamment éloignée dans le futur) et en proposant qu’elle se fasse par référendum.

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