Tuesday, May 31, 2005

France Votes "Non"

As I alluded to in an earlier post, France had its big vote on the EU Constitution this past weekend. And they voted it down.

So, it is back to the drawing board and the negotiating table for the EU, but the future is not too bright right now. The essential split between EU members strikes me as an economic one - a free trade bloc headed by the UK and newer members of the EU is opposing the interests and heft of a protectionist bloc headed by France and Germany. France voted the EU Constitution down because it did not let them protect their trade enough; the UK is likely to vote it down because the prospective EU government will interfere too much. I don't see a way for these divergent interests to be reconciled.

From an American standpoint, that may be a good thing. France and Germany have been flogging the EU has a "counterweight" to the United States. Putting all of Europe under one foreign policy, where France and Germany are more equal than the other members and the UK silenced, would not be good for the United States.

More discussion here.

A better summary and analysis, from the International Herald-Tribune here.
From the Chicago Sun-Times: A viable "Plan B."
From National Review: The EU Meets Democracy.


At 1:43 PM, Blogger Nathan said...

"United in diversity" - the proposed EU motto. The day that England and France actually join together as one entity will be a cold day in h***. I think the EU is too diverse to form a cohesive group.

At 4:53 PM, Blogger Tyler said...

That's the reason the vote failed - the average Frenchman felt the British were getting too much.

I think you are right - they are too diverse. And not just ethnically - there are significant political and economic differences - and they can not realistcally be reconciled. So just set up a NAFTA-Europe and call it good.


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