EU Constitution in Trouble in Holland, France

Polls in Holland and France show that their publics are overwhelmingly opposed to the EU Constitution.

Dutch No camp takes strong lead (BBC)

The Dutch public appears on course to firmly reject the European constitution in a referendum on 1 June, according to latest opinion polls. A poll for RTL television indicated 54% would vote No, with 27% voting Yes. The Dutch vote is purely consultative, but politicians have said they will take the result into consideration when it comes to a parliamentary vote.

The referendum comes only three days after one in France, where the No campaign has a slight lead. A poll by Centerdata, also published on Thursday, showed 50.9% against the constitution and 28.6% for it.

Despite the longstanding wishes of the elites, it seems, the people of Europe still think of themselves as “Dutch,” “French,” “Czech,” “English,” and “German” rather than “European.” Perhaps that will change over time as the youth are socialized into the EU construct. It took generations for Americans to stop thinking of themselves as “Virginians” or “New Yorkers” rather than “Americans,” and that was with much less history than the European states have and with one language.

Arthur Chrenkoff is right, though, that attempting unification by political campaigning beats the methods used by would-be conquerers in Europe’s bloody past. Ultimately, though, the effect is still the same. There are rational reasons for deepening the EU’s ties across the continent. The loss of political autonomy and, ultimately, of distinct cultures is an awfully high price, though.

FILED UNDER: Uncategorized, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. There are rational reasons for deepening the EU’s ties across the continent.

    Won’t work anyway, you can’t enlarge the EU and increase inegration at the same time.

  2. C.F.J. Ooijevaar says:

    I am Dutch. I am proud to be Dutch. I will be Dutch as long as I live. I do not like “Europe”.
    From 1568 till 1648 we struggled to be a free nation, free from our “Lord of the Netherlands”, better known as Philip II, king of Spain. In 1672 we had to defend ourselves against France and some German states. In 1789 we were invaded by the French and ultimately became part of Napoleons French imperium. In 1945 the United Kingdom, the USA and Canada had to come over to free us from the Germans. And now we should voluntarely vote for giving up our selfdestination and be some unimportant part of “Europe”, were France, Germany and Spain, Poland and within 10 years even Turkey will take the lead? NEVER!!!

  3. denzer says:

    many people is rigtly thinking that there is not a hope or motivation for a united europe.its just another forum for national lobbyists and international strateigists to play their games.these games are full of hidden agendas and not always for the benefit of europeans.

  4. cornelius byzant says:

    We already have a constitution. We don’t need to give up even more souvereignty. I am a ‘European’ because there are ‘Americans’, ‘Asians’ and ‘Africans’. Inside Europe being a European means nothing. ‘Europe’ is a badly marketed product that nobody really needs, except for the thousands and thousands of euro-civil servants. The political elite of Europe will at some point find itself enforcing laws nobody understands by means of violence because the populace does not recognise its legitimacy. Nobody in Europe other than the political elite really wants a United States of Europe or any other ‘super state’ the whole idea is a farce it will end in tears. We are selling our souls to the devil for greed and out of fear.

  5. stefan says:

    China had unified politics before anyone else. They
    are playing catch-up. Ashoka unified India over the
    countless rotting bodies. Both of these places
    seek to adopt more or less european models, a region
    divided by water, mountains, and language. The
    chinese kids in the school touch my sister’s
    daughter’s hair to see if the red stuff is real.
    I will never believe in a Europe of a uniform shade
    of gray. Let us welcome the Poles and one day even
    the Russians but let us not create another
    Washington in Brussels.

    –Transplanted European

  6. Prof. Baum says:

    Just a quick comment that Poland maybe has potential to become a very important actor in the unified “Europe”. However Turkey not only will not have a chance for at least 10 yrs to be allowed in. Even if debates on Turkey will begin in October it is highly unlikely that Turkey will ever enter the EU as an official member. C.F.J Ooijevaar you need to update your info because you are looking to far back in history rather than adapting to a new reality which exists today.

  7. cornelius byzant says:

    “Professor” Baum clearly has not caught on to the essential objection of most Europeans against further legal and institutional integration when he advises those who use historical arguments to “update” ones “info”. It is history and the awareness of this history, with a shared language and culture, which defines a nation. However, even a presumed American would do well to respect European history as it is part of the history of the Americas.

    Much of the Dutch opposition against further European integration can be explained by the fact that there are one million muslims – who do not share our history, language and culture – within our borders. This “new reality” has changed our everyday reality in such a way that a new conservatism has found its way in to the political arena and it is about to be inside the institutions of our representative democracy. The electorate has spoken now by means of an element of direct democracy – which was a hobby horse of those parties who were in favor of the European Constitution Treaty. The outcome has shocked them into a new awareness and makes them question their role.

    Let us remember our history and not make the same mistakes, especially when dealing with the new reality of an agressive culture within our society.