On France's Rejection of the European Constitution
Interview With Giorgio Salina, of the Convention of Christians for Europe
ROME, JUNE 1, 2005 (Zenit) - The country that was most opposed to the mention of the continent's Christian roots in the European Constitution, has seen that charter rejected by its people.
Giorgio Salina, vice president of the Convention of Christians for Europe, noted that paradox in the wake of French voters' rejection of the constitution on Sunday. The document was rejected by a margin of 54.8% to 45.1%.
In this interview, Salina tries to explain the reasons and consequences of this result.
Q: A high turnout, and a percentage of "no" votes higher than forecast by the polls: in a word, the French population clearly rejected the European plan delineated in the Constitutional Treaty. What is your opinion on this vote?
Salina: All phenomena affecting Europe are certainly complex and so is the French vote and the reasons for it. Excessive simplifications do not help the European cause.
Such is the case, for example, of the statements of Graham Watson, president of the Alliance Group of Democrats and Liberals for Europe, for whom it is an "internal French question," or those of the Italian European Commissioner Franco Frattini, who said that "it is necessary to continue to try to make Europe somewhat less bureaucratic."
There is unease, and it is serious. Going against all the political parties in favor of a "yes," 55% of the French rejected the Constitutional Treaty and, according to the forecasts, other countries are preparing to follow France with higher percentages favoring a "no" vote.
Obviously there are responsibilities and causes: the deafness of the Convention, presided over by Giscard d'Estaing, and of the Parliament to signs coming from the citizens, the redundancy of the document, the bureaucratic character of the community organisms, the lack of initiative in the area of defense and foreign policy, as well as the lack of political incisiveness in face of the crisis and the loss of competitiveness, and the fact that more than 40% of the budget is dedicated to agriculture, penalizing innovation.
No one mentions the rejection of the Judeo-Christian roots: Whether we like it or not, it is quite probable that this contributed to form a negative judgment among a substantial number of European citizens.
To reject a serious, profound and critical rethinking of the stages we have covered to date would be like hiding one's head in the sign, like an ostrich, compromising the European ideal.
Q: Do you really think that there are people who did not vote because of the absence of a reference to Europe's roots?
Salina: Yes, I am convinced that it was one of the causes. There was dislike for the ignorance of a historical truth impossible to deny and there certainly was dislike for the arrogant rejection of not even wanting to consider the argument.
Q: In fact, this vote seems to be rather a rejection of the policies promoted by the European Union. According to some observers, there is unease over the power of the Brussels bureaucracy, and over a cultural policy that, in the name of tolerance, rejects the Judeo-Christian tradition and cancels the family, promoting homosexual marriages. What is your opinion?
Salina: I agree! Tolerance is, certainly, to ensure the rights of all cultures and identities, but not to ignore the culture shared by the majority.
It is cultural totalitarianism not to take it into account. It seems that there are people who do not like the dictatorship of relativism. Perhaps this is what the French disliked.
Q: What will happen now, especially if other countries vote against the European project as conceived? What scenarios can be foreseen?
Salina: It is very difficult to respond. From the president of the commission, to the governments and constitutionalists -- all are examining the situation which has been created, as the treaty does not specify what must be done in face of this kind of rejection.
For a long time there has been talk of a "Plan B." Parliament says that the commission is studying it, but no one says anything. Only very generic formulas are used as, for example, "to point with determination to a Europe of nations" or to a "rethinking of a Europe of two speeds."
It is to be hoped that a trick won't be found to continue this way despite everything.
There must be a triggering of dignity and pride to rethink the future, which does not neglect what has been achieved to date, but which relaunches with deeds the great ideal of Konrad Adenauer, Robert Schuman and Alcide De Gasperi.
The nations of the East and West are calling for it, and the new generations are expecting it.
I also think that Christians can and must contribute -- with great humility, effort, seriousness and constancy -- to relaunching this new prospect of real internal and external solidarity.
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
France, Constitution, EU, Europe, Vote
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- U.S. drills for mass evacuation of Americans from South Korea, but ...
- Virgin Mary appears to Hindu schoolchildren in India, miracles ...
- Martin Luther would be horrified - The reformer had no intention of ...
- St. Ignatius of Antioch: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, October 17, 2017
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 HD Video
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, October 17, 2017
- Sorry, there's no science to support 'transgender therapy' for kids
- Intro to Novena to the Saints in Heaven for the saints on earth HD
- Trump ends taxpayer giveaway to insurance companies HD
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, October 16th, 2017 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way