Thursday, April 28, 2005

Lionel Jospin's come back for the European Constitution

Lionel Jospin's come back to the front of French politics, and for the sake of the Yes to the European Constitution, has a good flavour. His main criticism is directed to the representants of the left that rejects the idea of power. It is because of them, he says, that the socialist party has lost ground. Certainly, he has in mind the past presidential election, where Monsieur Le Pen, a fascist politician, made it to the second round instead of Jospin himself. It seems that French people did not learn from that lesson. They thought they could change France by voting No to the leftist government (Jospin's), and they ended up choosing between Chirac and Le pen.

A parallel can be drawn with the European Constitution. French voters, notably pro-european leftist, are inclined to vote No to the European Constitution. If this happens, they will end up in a non-position, sharing once again the same destiny as Le Pen. Hopefully, there'll be a second round. But the Constitution may look worse than it was in the first place.

1 comment:

Djalila said...

Once again Lorenzo is too dramatic...it is not about ending in a non position, it is about asking for a change in French politics as well as European.

It is true that there is some French specificity in the debate about the EU constitution. It is not only about the Constitution, it is also about the confidence in politicians to defend certain values French are attached to, such as those of wealfare state or "service public". A constitution is only a text and it has to be construed in relation to its drafters ( and V.G. D' Estaing, is not popular in France, where he was kicked out of the highest position for his failure during the 70th economic crisis and his liberal views!!) and the institutions that would have to implement it.
However in France,politicians are today too often likely to accuse Europe, ex post when faced with unpopular reforms,but never present european initiatives - except if coming from the French government- which leaves French people a bitter feeling that things decided at the European level are decided out of their reach. This feeling that French politics are abandoning issues to the European level to deprive French from a right to express their views is highly related to the decline of the parliament's powers as described by Raphael in a previous post. It is also related to a certain hypocrisy of French politics that is clearly perceived by outsiders. There is a global rejection of our socialist party which has become, like the right UMP, just a rigid institution where half a dozen of "mammouth" (that's how the small groups of eternal leaders of this party are called in France) are only fighting for a position as President within the next years and have no real political agenda, deceiving those that want reforms and left wing government in France.
If French rejected Jospin three years ago it is because of its lack of action and ambition. If they reject the EU constitution it is also because of its lack of ambition, in social terms, but above all because they know that French leaders will not defend their interests in Europe and rather use it to drive important issues out of the national debate...An important proof of it is the fact that while revising the French Constitution to prepare the EU constitution ratification, the French Congress rejected an amendment asking to apply the protocole on the role of national parliament for the application of the principle of subsidiarity!!!!

There is thefore a real problem in France related to an increasing rejection of the French Political elite, especially of the left-wing. What is more problematic, is for L. Jospin, who decided to retire from French political life to take responsibility of this failure, to come back now. Those that want to reject the constitution as a consequence of a rejection of their elite would be more angry if they think that this previous leader thinks that he can come back now, while the problem with parties has not been solved. He might as well increase the confusion.
If there was not such distrust for French politicians, there would certainly be more confidence in the future of Europe in France.