Voting No on the EU Constitution would not constitute a French No to Europe, as some believe; it would merely be a vote of no confidence in Chirac’s presidency. Anything that diminishes Chirac – who has weakened the EU by pushing a protectionist, corporate state model for Europe, and telling the new smaller members to “shut up” when they disagreed with him – must be considered good news for Europe and European integration.
So those desiring a stronger integrated EU should be rooting for a French No, knowing full well that some voting No would be doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.
Even before the May referendum, there have been indications that France’s ability to mold the European Union to its interests has been waning.
Just recently, Romanian president Traian Barescu signed the Treaty to join the European Union. In the period preceding the signing, however, French foreign minister Michel Barnier chastised him for lacking a “European reflex”. The reason? Barescu plans to align Romania with Anglo Saxon liberal economic policies, and wants a special relationship with Great Britain and the United States to improve security in the Black Sea region. Rather than buckling to France’s will, the Romanian president warned French leaders to stop lecturing his country.