Thursday, May 26, 2005

Regarding Views Page, The EU constitution I, II, III, IHT, May 26, 2005: Daniel Cohn-Bendit is right when he says that "antiglobalization activists, Communists and neo-fascists", who are part of the 'camp' agains the EU consitution, are opportunists. Few of those who want to persuade French and Dutch voters ( the Dutch will also vote in a referendum on the subject next week ) to say 'no' offer a credible, positive alternative. Nevertheless, it seems to me that one Dutch EU-official summarized the motives of many probable no-voters very well when he said: "People were not asked anything for years. Decisions about Europe were made either in Brussels or The Hague [ or Paris, BdB ]. Now suddenly we are allowed to vote on the constitution. Well, then the suppressed negative emotions suddenly come out and that is translated into a 'no'". Until now it seems that - see the op-eds by Francois Heisbourg and Dominique Moisi - politicians, analysts and activists have mainly used negative tactics to convince the French to vote either yes or no. An even faster emerging Asia, Yugoslavia, World War II and - of course - the Holocaust, different parts of the world and of world history have been used to conjure up a doomsday scenario that will definitely become reality if the 'other' side 'wins'. It might be too late now to change voters' minds. Whatever the outcome of the referenda, both supporters and opponents of a constitutionalized Europe should finally start making a serious effort to convince the Europeans why a constitution and Europe itself are good for them, or what viable and positive alternatives there are for a more unified Europe.

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