According to LeFigaro.COM, the EU constitution failed in France:
- OUI (yes) 43.46% vs. NON (no) 56.54% are the current partial results
My feelings about the result are mostly positive, but still mixed a bit. France, one of the champions of European integration, rejected the proposed constitution. Most of the "NON" votes had a "wrong" reason, although there have been many reasons behind the "NON" votes, but I completely respect all of them, much like the arguments behind the "OUI" votes. It is totally obvious that the EU constitution would further diminish the chances of French farmers and workers. The Eastern European competition is tough already today, and most French citizens have probably figured out that the further integration of the EU, according to the constitution, would also mean a further wave of uniformization of the continent. In other words, the economic standards of France and the new member states would continue to converge. France has been a payer in the EU budget, and this also implies that the results had to be different from Spain, for example.
Many dissent socialists voted against the constitution because it was not social and environmental enough - the text seemed as an example of the Anglo-Saxon influence that is intended to destroy the French welfare state. Well, that's ironic because the same constitution may fail in Britain or elsewhere because of the opposite reason. But yes, I agree that the text of the constitution has a neo-liberal, free market flavor. The text tried to define too many things. Many French voters agreed with me that the economic principles should simply not be written down in the constitution - such things belong to the programs of political parties and should not be defined in a long-lasting text. More generally, the constitution is just too long. If it were 10 times as short, it would be more reasonable.
The unpopular French prime minister Raffarin is gonna be fired tomorrow. The Dutch are likely to vote against the treaty on Wednesday, too. Some unusual politicians, such as Juncker from Luxembourg, will propose that the EU constitution continues without France. Others will propose another referendum in France. Most mainstream people will agree that the constitution has been stopped cold in its tracks.