The French and the Dutch rejections of the proposed E.U. constitution by referenda (May 29 and June 1, respectively) shook the European neoliberal federation—though it was unwilling to concede defeat: The European Union’s Luxembourg presidency and the leaders of France and Germany immediately declared that the process of ratifying the charter should proceed in other countries, regardless of the verdict in those two key founding members. German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder said that he remains convinced of the need for the constitution: “[I]f we want a democratic, social-minded and strong Europe . . . there is no sound alternative.” The E.U. “crisis summit” (June 16-17) was expected, at the time of this writing, to reassert the federalists’ faith in the project.
The Old Continent’s federalist elite is not giving up, but the reality was summed up by Italian Deputy Prime Minister Giulio Tremonti, who declared that “the European Constitution, as it has been presented and managed, is finished.”
It is finished indeed, and that news is good. The 400-page E.U. constitution is a flawed document. Had it been ratified, it would have paved the way for a bureaucratic superstate in which each member country’s sovereignty, individuality, and dignity would be violated and suppressed.
For instance, the constitution states that “The...