Hard to know whether to laugh or cry, but the attached article shows how the political mainstream in Germany would like to spin the EU referendum rejections in Holland and France. It is by Hans W. Maull, who holds the Chair for Foreign Policy and International Relations at the University of Trier, and draws the conclusion that:
- the "democratic" deficit in the EU is mostly about the political defects of member governments and their efforts to force European politics in the service of their own, often very petty, preoccupations.
- the problems leading to the "non"/"nee" were not with the promotion of "more Europe", but with the lack of credible promoters (ie the national politicians).
So the draft constitution, according to Maull's almost surreal analysis, was primarily rejected because of dissatisfactions with the voters' national governments, with their attempts to soil the clear waters of the European project with their "petty" national concerns (imagine!). And the answer, says Maull, is to steam ahead, increase "supranationalism" and generally have "more Europe".
In fairness to Maull, the vote in France did seem swayed by a wish to punish Chirac. Even so, there was much more to it than that. And the Dutch referendum strongly featured voters' concerns about "more Europe" and the feeling that it was moving ahead too fast.
Maull's analysis and concluding precepts show that, no matter how clearly voters reject its direction, the European political mainstream (for which Maull is acting as a mouthpiece) simply will not be diverted. Maybe it really cannot be diverted, but if that is so, it will have to be dammed.
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