Saturday

13th Aug 2022

A French 'no' to EU constitution would mean the 'fall of Europe'

  • Romano Prodi presided over the Commission as the Constitution was being drawn up (Photo: European Commission)

Former European Commission president Romano Prodi has warned that a French No to the European Constitution would mean the "fall of Europe".

In an interview with French newspaper Journal du Dimanche (24 April), Mr Prodi said that a French rejection of the document on 29 May would result in "no more Europe".

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"We will go through a great period of crisis. The problem will not only be a catastrophe for France, but the fall of Europe.

"A No would be catastrophic for Europe, from a social and economic point of view, not only political. And that is the whole contradiction: everybody knows very well that there is no Europe without France, yet France does not realise the chance it has with Europe. She should reflect on that because an isolated France would be very weak", said Mr Prodi who presided over the Commission during the making of the Constitution.

Mr Prodi's warning comes as consecutive polls in France have shown the No side to have the lead over the Yes camp.

French media report on the increasingly desperate air that surrounds the French government as it tries to rally the yes side.

The opposition Socialist Party, which was meant to be celebrating its centenary over the weekend, could only manage a muted affair as it is so preoccupied with the issue.

Former socialist prime minister Lionel Jospin, who accused the party of lacking discipline over the weekend, is to appeal for a yes vote in a TV interview on Thursday.

Meanwhile, in Germany, which faces ratification by parliament on 12 May, there has also been some opposition to the document.

According to German daily Die Welt, some 15 MEPs from the Bavaria-based CSU-faction are going to vote against the Constitution.

They say they are concerned about a shift in power from the national to the European level.

All 25 member states have to ratify the 465-article constitutional treaty by the end of October next year in order for it to come into force.

Draghi's grip on power finally unravels

Italy looked set to lose its highly-respected prime minister Mario Draghi on Thursday, after his attempt to relaunch his grand coalition government ended with right-wing parties joining the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) in deserting him.

Italy back in chaos, as Draghi quits over 5-Star snub

Italy was plunged into fresh political turmoil on Thursday as prime minister Mario Draghi announced his resignation after a key ally within his grand coalition government boycotted a parliamentary vote.

MEP accused of 'disrespecting' female moderator

Some 100 representatives of civil society organisations, including Transparency International EU and Oxfam, accuse German Green MEP Reinhard Bütikofer of disrespecting a moderator because she was a woman of colour and want him reprimanded.

Column

Albania's post-communist dream has lessons for Ukraine

Comparisons between post-communist Albania and current-day Ukraine are fascinating — and make many pertinent parallels. Ukrainians have a similar determination to belong to "the rest of Europe" as Albanians.

Opinion

Finally, the victims of Utøya got a memorial

A legal battle between locals on the one hand and the state and the labour youth organisation on the other side postponed the inception of the memorial in remembrance of the victims of Anders Behring Breivik.

News in Brief

  1. Germany to help nationals cope with energy price spike
  2. Germany wants pipeline from Portugal
  3. Ukraine urges US to sanction all Russian banks
  4. Spain evacuates 294 Afghans
  5. EU sanctions have 'limited' effect of Russian oil production
  6. Donors pledge €1.5bn to Ukraine's war effort
  7. Sweden overtakes France as EU's top power exporter
  8. Italy's far-right star in European charm offensive

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  3. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  6. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting

Latest News

  1. Defying Russian bombs, Ukraine football starts 2022 season
  2. Sweden to extradite man wanted by Turkey
  3. EU must beware Beijing's new charm offensive
  4. Forest fire near Bordeaux forces over 10,000 to flee
  5. Estonia and Latvia sever China club ties
  6. Russian coal embargo kicks in, as EU energy bills surge
  7. Only Western unity can stop Iran hostage-diplomacy
  8. Kosovo PM warns of renewed conflict with Serbia

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us