I will probably vote no at the referendum on the European constitution that, in France, will take place in May. But until then I will try, like almost every one of that opinion, to understand the arguments of those in favour of that constitution. If we set aside the criticism that can be addressed to this text from the point of view of a thick conception of democracy, and stick with the social and economical problem, I cannot understand how a left-wing Yes can be argued for.
Art. I-3: The Union shall offer its citizens an area of freedom, security and justice without internal frontiers, and an internal market where competition is free and undistorted.
Art. III-176: (… )the activities of the Member States and the Union shall
include, as provided in the Constitution, the adoption of an economic policy which is based on the close coordination of Member States' economic policies, on the internal market and on the definition of common objectives, and conducted in accordance with the principle of an open market economy with free competition.
Art. III-292-2-e: The Union shall define and pursue common policies and actions, and shall work for a high degree of cooperation in all fields of international relations, in order to: (…) encourage the integration of all countries into the world economy, including through the progressive abolition of restrictions on international trade
Art. III-131: Member States shall consult each other with a view to taking together the steps needed to prevent the functioning of the internal market being affected by measures which a Member State may be called upon to take in the event of serious internal disturbances affecting the maintenance of law and order, in the event of war, serious international tension constituting a threat of war.
Is it not obvious that these provisions stem from an ideology that cannot be accepted by anyone who believes that political forces should control the market? How can one believe that and at the same time vote for this constitution? Frankly, whishing for a market where competition is free and undistorted, and calling that a value, is not left-wing. I know that, without so many words, such a market is already a value of the European Union and that the constitution doesn’t change all that much to it. But now we are given, finally, a chance to reject such a polity and I, for one, will take it gladly.