[Marxism] Re: France: workers say NO to a capitalists' Europe

Lueko Willms lueko.willms at t-online.de
Mon May 30 18:06:42 MDT 2005


in reply to:
# Subject: [Marxism] France: workers say NO to a capitalists' Europe
# From: Jorge Martín <jorge at marxist.com>
# Date: Mon, 30 May 2005 14:51:14 -0400 (EDT)

   Quoting an article by a Greg Oxley at
> http://www.marxist.com/Europe/france-european-constitution300505.htm

   "The referendum in France on the European Constitution has
resulted in a decisive defeat for the ruling class"

   Oh well, it was certainly a big defeat for President Jacques
Chirac, who tried the old trick to of reinforcing his presidential,
quasi-bonapartist, rule via a plebiscite, against the unrest in the
population and the "left" election successes in the municipal
elections.

   But the plan of a plebiscitarian reaffirmation of the prime role
of the president failed as Charles de Gaulle's referendum in April
1969.

   For the ratification of the treaty on this latest revision of the
European Treaty, governing the workings of the European Union, the
referendum was not necessary. A majority of the French Assemblé
Nationale would have been enough. Presidential advisers argued
against calling the referendum, but Chirac wanted it. And it
backfired. All the popular anger about the policy of social cutbacks
and economic crises ascribed to the open national borders
concentrated on the referendum, and led to a majority rejection of
the law to ratify the treaty.

   The publicity stand to call this treaty a "constitution" also
contributed to its failure. If it would really have been a
constitution, it would have been submitted to a referendum of _all_
440 million people in the 25 member states, in _one_ referendum.

   Sure, the failure of Chirac's plebiscite creates problems for the
ratification of this latest EU treaty, which is supposed to be
concluded in the fall of 2006, since all 25 member countries have to
ratifiy the treaty for it to take effect. If ratification fails, the
current treaty, i.e. the version agreed to in Nice will remain in
effect, until another revision is being worked out and agreed to by
all 25 governments.

   But was the "NO" a victory for the working class movement? Allow
me to have my doubts. Saying NO is a purely negative reaction, and
even if the various left, center, and right parties campaigning for
the NO vote did this with differing arguments, in the ballot box
there is no distinction between the NO of a militant of the
Revolutionary Communist League or the NO of a supporter of the
fascist Le Pen or Megret, between the the NO of reader of the CP's
Humanité and the NO of a follower of Jean-Pierre Chevènement's MRC or
other nationalists, between the NO of a follower of the NO-wing of
the PS or the NO of Vicomte Philippe de Villiers and his "Mouvement
pour la France". And quite a number of people have voted NO in order
to stop the competition of lower paid workers, especially from
Eastern European countries or from Turkey, with which the
negotiations to join the EU shal begin on October 3, 2005.

   Besides, voting NO on the question, if the law of ratification of
the treaty for a European constitution should be approved, is a vote
for maintaining the treaty of Nice.

   The main differences between the two is the change from the
necessity of a unanimous vote of all 25 member states in all matters
with 1 vote per country to a majority voting system, requiring both a
majority of countries and a majority of population represented.

   I think, it would habe been better not to take the bait of
Chirac's plebiscite, even if this plebiscite failed in the end, but
to campaign for an abstention or a boycott of the plebiscite.

   I also think, that even those, like the LCR, who spoke of the
_workers_ as a force (instead of just "the peoples of Europe"),
projected a workers unity only in the framework of Europe, which
means only the member states of the European Union in the framework
of this referendum, while the real starting point for workers unity
and intererests is the WORLD.

   And I have not noted that anybody spoke about the automatic
association of the colonies which France, Britain, the Netherlands
and Denmark still hold outside of Europe.

   Anyway, the differences are not very big.

   Please, Nestor Gorojovsky, note these differences:

The YES vote would put into practice the following from the proposed
new treaty:

--------- cut --------------------

ARTICLE III-286
...............
1. The non-European countries and territories which have special
relations with Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United
Kingdom shall be associated with the Union. These countries and
territories, hereinafter called the "countries and territories", are
listed in Annex II. This title shall apply to Greenland, subject to
the specific provisions of the Protocol on special arrangements for
Greenland.

2. The purpose of association shall be to promote the economic and
social development of the countries and territories and to establish
close economic relations between them and the Union.
Association shall serve primarily to further the interests and
prosperity of the inhabitants of these countries and territories in
order to lead them to the economic, social and cultural development
to
which they aspire.

----------------- cut off ------------------


   while the NO vote favors to maintain the following rules from the
current treaty:


-------------- cut --------------------------

Article 182
...........
The Member States agree to associate with the Community the
non-European countries and territories which have special relations
with Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. These
countries and territories (hereinafter called the æcountries and
territoriesÆ) are listed in Annex II to this Treaty.

The purpose of association shall be to promote the economic and
social development of the countries and territories and to establish
close economic relations between them and the Community as a whole.
In accordance with the principles set out in the preamble to this
Treaty, association shall serve primarily to further the interests
and prosperity of the inhabitants of these countries and territories
in order to lead them to the economic, social and cultural
development to which they aspire.

------------------ cut off ----------------------



Comradely yours,
Lüko Willms
Frankfurt/Main
/ Lueko.Willms at T-Online.de







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