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Can the EU Survive the Constitution Crisis?

Debate rages across Europe as to the real impact of the rejection of the EU constitution. Debate rages also among DW-WORLD readers who offered their opinions on what could and should happen next in Europe.

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The French and Dutch had their say. DW-WORLD readers have theirs

It makes no sense for further referenda by other member states on the constitution as it now stands. To expect so many nations to agree so soon is too optimistic. Perhaps if the text was reduced and simplified then progress, albeit slow progress, could be made. Just give it time! If there were a serious external threat then that would speed up the process but this is not the case. However, some progress is essential to prevent stagnation. -- Peter Crozier, UK

I think it is fair to say that the political "stars" of Chirac and Schröder, recently shining so bright, are on the wane. They have played lead roles in the EU project which is collapsing like a house of cards. You can throw in Herr Fischer too. This empty suit has used up his 15 minutes of fame. What happened? In a word; demographics. Not enough workers paying in to support the long vacations and short hours that euroworkers have gotten used to. In a global economy, a country like France cannot hide. Competition is wealth, progress and power. Keep up or keep out. -- Jerald Ronish

I think that the EU constitution is a very dangerous document and I'm glad that two countries so far voted NO. Unfortunately the Germans didn't have a chance to vote. I've lived under one block already -- the Soviet one - - and don't want to live under another one! -- Helena Underhill

The people of France and Netherlands voted against the treaty not because the're antieuropean but because of the legitimate concerns that they have with regard to labour deregulation,globilization and further enlargement which will put additional burden on them. Politicians are totally out of touch with their electorate and unless they take action to address their concerns EU will become a thing of the past with very nasty consequences for the whole of Europe. -- V. Broutsos

The EU is not a monolith! It is an arbitrary collection of a plethora of distinct and inviolable ethnic cultures. Political union is as anathema as mating a monkey with a human. Those who advocate political union are incapable of rational thought! The EU should revert back to the Common Market concept as well as dismantle the European Central bank which strangles a nation's ability to manage it's economy. It is incredible that anyone would even contemplate promoting such an self-distructive notion as the EU! -- Dr. Karl Kettler

You might as well go through with ratification to find out what concessions are going to be needed to be made and to whom. Know who your opposition is and then work to reduce the impact of their argument. Something that has not been done to date. -- Charles Jaynes

From what I'm reading, I'm perplexed that Germany even signed on to this constitution. Apparently it would obligate the EU to fight America's wars under US command in NATO. Why should the EU want to do that? Could you cover this subject in detail? I would really be interested in this subject. Since the US is not part of the EU, shouldn't NATO be abolished rather than using it for the US to get a backdoor into the EU and control the European militaries? -- Bryan

The EU Leaders must ratify trade practices and union laws so the people feel safe in the new State.It is impossible for the so called lower classes to accept wholeheartedly the initial concept of the EU when they are not secure about their future. This is a huge stepping stone for Europe, it should be romanticised while looking at our respective histories, so that the people can feel that all of Europe is home and that we do share common principles and have across the span of centuries. Europe is the light in a world of darkness and the future should be shown to the world by the example of temerity in our leaders, and wisdom from our governments. -- Yusef Arellano, Australia

The French and now the Dutch rejection of the European Constitution sends a clear message: Europeans don't want an unwieldy superstate! Most of the countries that ratified it, e.g. Germany, have not allowed their people to have a say. Had they done so, the results might well have been similar to those in France and the Netherlands. (The fact that the German Government did not allow a referendum on a matter of such fundamental importance, and that the German people did not demand it forcefully, shows that democracy has but a tenuous foothold there. In Germany the totalitarian impulse seems to be alive and well!) -- Dr. Jack Bremer, Canada









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