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That’s it. . .

[ 0 ] May 29, 2005 |

No constitution for the EU. Might be able to pull it off without the UK, but France is critical. The Netherlands, another original EEC member, is also hostile.

Frankly, I think it’s a bad decision. I can at least understand why the right doesn’t care for the EU; supra-nationalism has never been terribly popular on that side. I’m less compelled by the reasoning from the left, largely because the left seems to be blaming the EU for developments beyond its control, and that the French state will hardly be able to deal with on its own. As Chris Bertram notes, the reactionary nationalism of the right seems to have infected the left, to no good outcome for anyone.

At least Instapundit seems to realize that this doesn’t represent a cry for US-style institutions or economic policies, but instead the exact opposite. Can’t stop him from gloating, however.

The impact? I doubt that we’ll see another referendum in France anytime soon. The process of integration will slow considerably, and all of the defects of the current EU structure will remain, including the grindingly slow bureaucracy and deadening super-majority voting rules. The EU is currently governed by a mish-mash of rules created over the course of fifty years, and EU institutions don’t exactly represent machine-like efficiency. The EU constitution would actually have made the institutions work better, would have made the superstructure marginally more democratic, and would have made everything easier to understand.

Most importantly, it would have made the EU easier to teach. I am stuck assigning Desmond Dinan’s extraordinarily long, comprehensive, detailed, and boring text to my students in Europe and World Politics. I had hoped for a successful constitution, if only to make my job easier.

Oh well.

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