Next Wave International Next Wave International™ is a faith-based communications group which is
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French Vote Crucial to EU

Added 23 May 2005 View full list    Print version    
On May 29, French voters will cast their vote on a crucial referendum regarding the adoption of Europe's Constitution.

The poll is seen as a major test of the document which has been several years in the making.

French leaders and former leaders have been at the centre of the development of the Constitution and France has traditionally seen itself as a key driving force behind greater European integration.

However, some recent opinion polls have indicated that a great many French people are opposed to the acceptance of this Constitution, which would shape the growth of the EU in years to come.

This has been a major surprise for many in the higher levels of French political life, and the president Jacques Chirac has launched a high-level promotional campaign to shore up flagging public support.

Whether or not this kind of intervention has been successful remains to be seen.

Legally, if one member state denies the Constitution, it cannot be ratified and some other alternative will need to be found.

Even if France votes 'yes', critics in Britain remain strong as they do in a few other states.

A 'yes' vote in France would not be a major surprise to most pundits, but a 'no' would definitely represent a major setback to the European ideal.

(For the full editorial on this site, click here.)

Keywords: European Constitution | French vote | French poll | EU | European integration | Constitution | French leaders | Jaques Chirac | French president

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