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Last Updated: Monday, 6 June, 2005, 08:28 GMT 09:28 UK
Is the EU constitution now dead?
EU building
European leaders are attempting to keep the EU constitution alive following its rejection by voters in France and the Netherlands.

Latvia's parliament have ratified the document by a vote of 71-5, bringing the number of countries backing the treaty to 10.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and French President Jacques Chirac have urged EU nations to continue ratifying the constitution.

What effect will rejection of the treaty by French and Dutch voters have on the future of the EU? Is it the EU constitution dead? Will the ratification of the treaty continue in other countries? Tell us what you think.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

The problem with throwing the ratification of the constitution out to the people in a referendum is that people are inclined to vote on their opinion of the EU as a whole, not on the constitution itself. Indeed, a large proportion of those voting in France and the Netherlands this week probably had no idea what was in the constitution. Besides, the elected assemblies of these countries have been voted into power to represent the people, so why diminish their responsibility by implying that they're not trusted to take a decision on the EU Constitution?
Andy Shaw, Droitwich, UK

With what criteria did EU leaders decide how the constitution should be voted in each country? I am Greek, the parliament voted a big Yes, still nobody down here realized when, how and most important, why... where is the voice of people within this large Community? Certainly not in the decisions their governments take. Will they realize now that they are serving us and not the other way round?
Sofia, Tripoli, Greece

The EU constitution is all too much too soon
Chris, Blackpool, England
The EU constitution is all too much too soon. What they need to do is come back with a far less drastic change in the proposed legislation, to make it an easier pill to swallow for the patriotic European citizens out there. Closer EU links are inevitable in the long run, but this is just rushing it.
Chris, Blackpool, England

Go back to the whole point of the EU - free trade, free-movement of goods and a way of creating a straightforward EU-wide response to world efforts, rather than interfering with bent bananas! And keep it simple!
Paul, Cardiff

I am still waiting for the referendum in the UK on the subject of whether we want our membership of Europe to remain as a trading agreement or to change to one of our being governed from Brussels. By my reckoning, I have been waiting for about 20 years so far.
Alan, Chichester UK

A week after the French vote and four days after the Dutch, the same combination of hard and opportunist left and hard right nationalist politicians that led the "No" campaign in both countries have failed quite dismally in Switzerland to convince the normally sceptical Swiss to reject a link-up with the EU through the Schengen-Dublin treaties. You report on that in your website, but this morning it fails to reach your news bulletins, which are nevertheless full of doom and gloom about the future of Europe. Both the Schengen and Dublin treaties are examples of the benefits of European (U)union, even if the island-minded Little Englanders prefer to stay aloof.
R J Evans, Echenevex, France

While there is discussion regarding the constitution, there must be an in-depth look at the cost of the EU. Why for instance are there two parliaments and do we really need them to move between each other every six weeks costing millions of euros. Is it not time to shut down Strasbourg and put the EC on a sound financial footing?
J Garner, Tamworth, England

The European gang of ten in order to save the constitution, are desperately locked in a futile exercise of deck chair moving on a sinking ship. The dream turned into a nightmare, the day they changed the original European Market to a European union without democratic accountability. The people have spoken loud and clear and yet this gang of ten fail to listen.
Mike George, London

I certainly hope the EU leaders will try to keep this process going. It is am ambitious project, but well worth the effort. I think that many Europeans should look at this as a way to gain a healthy dose of united power against the United States. A strong EU would help temper the power of the US. Don't give up. Please!
Jerry, Silver City, USA

The US Constitution is 10 pages long and written in plain English and still is constantly in the Courts as they try to determine an interpretation of different amendments and/or clauses. The EU constitution is almost 400 pages long and filled with legalese - the people cannot be expected to vote for something that is not patently clear. Sometimes it's perfectly correct to take a better and longer look at the direction one is taking - the enlargement of EU might need to be taken in smaller steps rather than giant leaps. The EU has accomplished many great things in such a short time frame so there can be no doubt that the EU will survive this hiccup.
K. Carroll, New York, NY USA

When Jacques Chirac was asked in a public television interview he had difficulty in identifying 3 positive consequences of the constitution on the lives of the French community. If the president is having problems articulating the "real" benefits I think it is a good idea to send the politicians back to the drawing board and attempt to get it closer to reality.
Mike, Mouans-Sartoux, France

The problem with your constitution is that it's a long winded, boring and confusing document that the average Joe can't begin to understand
PM, NYC, US
Contrary to what many may believe, Americans are not happy this constitution was voted down. Aside from the delicious pleasure of seeing Mr Chirac in a meltdown, we stand to lose, not gain, from a Europe in disarray. The problem with your constitution is that it's a long winded, boring and confusing document that the average Joe can't begin to understand. I tried, my eyes were almost bleeding from the effort. Go back to the drawing board, and keep it simple.
PM, NYC, US

The western Europeans do not want to understand the new economic reality of globalisation. A united Europe, including the former Eastern Bloc is the only choice for the future. If that means less social advantages and economic problems for the western Europe, they will have to accept them and find solutions, not reject the expansion.
Lou, Cleveland, Ohio

Europeans are unhappy over the leadership and direction of their fledgling Union. So you've never been consulted, never voted for this enlargement, and so on. Where have you all been while this was developing, right under your noses? Having never asked for your opinion in all these years, do you seriously believe your leaders are going to take any notice of you now?
PM, NYC, US

I am appalled at the undemocratic way the European leaders are responding to the no votes in France and Netherlands. They seem to imagine that they can ignore or amend the properly expressed will of the public. By taking up this position they reveal themselves to be arrogant and potentially fascistic and bring the whole European project into disrepute, certainly as far as we Brits are concerned.
Iain Smith, Maidenhead UK

This constitution is clearly dead. However, it will still be possible for a new constitution to be drawn up that takes more into account the European people as opposed to the Brussels bureaucrats. However, this will be made more difficult if other countries continue to hold referenda on this constitution and lose, since it gives the impression that the European people are against any form of constitution.
Graham Smith, London, UK

Raj, Oxford, UK said "Washington, London and Beijing should be smiling." This is the kind of propaganda that EU citizens should be wary of. We do not want to see Europeans suffer economically. We are not gleeful that the constitution is in trouble. However, many of us do feel that the pro-constitution people in the EU were not seeing the whole picture. The most serious thing of course is that the will of the people has not been determined in the countries where only parliament voted and the EU leaders are attempting to ignore the votes of the people in France and the Netherlands. The EU officials are unelected individuals and as such are not accountable to the people of their own countries and it is obvious they are not representing the wishes of their own people. We look at this things from our vantage point and it raises red flags.
Jerry, Cleveland, Ohio USA

Word here is that the EU constitution is neoliberal and is not a constitution of the people.
E Medina, Santiago, Chile

I hope to goodness it is dead. The EU did not bring peace and prosperity, and a European superstate is not needed to maintain peace and prosperity; it is certainly not xenophobic to oppose federalism. Where member states have ratified this document without reference to their respective peoples, it should be seen for what it is....meaningless. The Germans would quite clearly have thrown it out, so they were never asked! The picture of Blair telling us that there are "obviously deep divisions within Europe which need addressing", whilst commending the constitution to us, is a clear sign that the politicians are rattled because their gravy-train has been de-railed!
Barry, Deeping St. James, UK

I have read many comments that state how the French and Dutch voted against the constitution out of fear of capitalism. Coming from a capitalist nation believe me that this fear is justified. Capitalism breeds these corporations who in turn breed bureaucrats. Eventually, as in my country, these bureaucrats become entrenched in places where voters cannot touch them. Europe does not need for their new found democratic union to become a "big money" machine as my once great country has become. Hats off to the French and Dutch for preserving their freedoms and that of Europe's.
Jordan Maupin, New York, NY

I keep seeing comments that France rejected this document because it would bring more 'capitalism' as that were some inherently evil force! When did capitalism suddenly become a bad thing? Did I miss a meeting? France's internal problems stem from a lack of market principles: Half the country works for the government, you can't fire employees you can't afford, taxes are too high, bankrupt farms are kept afloat by obscene subsidies that cripple African food exports ... I could go on. The result: 10 years of economic stagnation and rampant unemployment. France needs more capitalism, not less!
John, London, UK

Unfortunately I think it is dead. We must ask, though, why do we have to have such complicated agreements which allow the xenophobic tabloids to distort the truth? As one contributor on Question Time said, the American Constitution is only two pages long, everyone can understand it. Lawyers and civil servants are over complicating things.
John, Estepona, Spain

The beauty of Europe lies, as always, with its diversity. The EU has been moving toward oblivion- rudderless, governed by a shadowy, unaccountable cabal. Rejection of the so-called EU "Constitution" is a step in the right direction.
Mark, Scottsdale, AZ

I voted a firm yes for the constitution during the Dutch referendum. The constitution is what brought the EU about 60 years of Peace and welfare.
Priya, The Netherlands

The French and Dutch votes have made governments realise that they need to take citizens' views more seriously
Eva , Paris, France
The French and Dutch votes have made governments realise that they need to take citizens' views more seriously. It's absurd to assume that the ratification of the treaty can continue elsewhere. The current treaty is clearly dead. To continue ratification would be a waste of time for both governments and citizens. It would also be a slap in the face to the French and Dutch voters; it would essentially be ignoring voters' opinions which is part of the reason they voted 'no' in the first place. The loopholes in the constitution need to be addressed and governments must be more transparent. The future of the EU can still be bright; as long as the citizens are more involved in the process and governments explain themselves more thoroughly.
Eva , Paris, France

Dead as a dodo. Thank God. Having this European superstate would merely sow the seeds of discord which would, in time, lead to the beginnings of another world war. Just like the last one. People, you're too quick to forget the lessons of history!
Al Johnson, London, UK

I think that every EU country should present their point of view. Otherwise the impression that some members remain privileged and more important would prevail. We all should have our say.
Regina, Poland

I really do not know all that much about the EU constitution, but if the French and the Dutch both vote "no" maybe the politicians should go back to the drawing board. As far as constitutions go, it should be such that all the states can unanimously vote "yes", or there will be problems down the road. You can always amend it later...
Matt, Phoenix, AZ, US

The Franco-Dutch vote has derailed the European dream. These are uncertain times for EU, the euro and a superstate Europe. The constitution might not be dead, but it's certainly in a stupor. Washington, London and Beijing should be smiling.
Raj, Oxford, UK

From an outsiders perspective, it seems that the Constitution was largely drawn up by bureaucrats for the purpose of exploiting the people of Europe for the benefit of various corporations and their own ends. Should it ever succeed in its current form, it would mean a homogenisation of European cultural values, ignoring the vast diversity of different cultures across the continent. The righteous might of corporate interests will no doubt prevail in the end, however. EU Cola, anyone?
Michael Ross, Wellington, New Zealand

I think we should not give the people the chance to vote in a referendum for something they really do not know. Did at least half of the population read some parts of the constitution? Of course they did not. The people believed the fears and did not see the advantages. The Frenchmen are afraid of the delocalisation -that the big companies would go to other countries in the east. But I do not believe there is a power to stop this. If they will want to go away, they will just leave. If there is a referendum in my country I will vote yes.
Petr Zimmermann, Prague, Czechia

The French and the Dutch have only rejected this because of the constitution's focus on economic matters and its commitment to free market, corporation friendly politics. Three is more to this argument than economics. We have peace in Europe and economic prosperity but there are many who have not yet benefited from this. It is time these people were considered rather than the well-being of multinationals.
Paul, Brighton, UK

That constitution is far too lengthy - 500 pages! A constitution intended to federate a number of states should be inspired by the Swiss model, but 46 pages as in the Swiss constitution is naturally far from being large enough, given the number of states in the EU and the variety of languages and cultures.
Vera, Geneva, Switzerland

If, as people say, the EU constitution is dead then we have a big problem. With emerging Eastern Europe, declining business in Western Europe, it would not be long before one state had a go at another. High unemployment and debt will drive the Union to war, again. Been two so far. A constitution and agreement is required, it is most urgent.
Mike, Luton, UK

What is so bizarre about all this is that most of the constitution already exists in the treaties signed to date. But there is a general feeling in the UK, France, the Netherlands perhaps Denmark, Poland and the Czech Republic that there is now the real chance of loss of national identities and ethos. Remember the French very nearly rejected Maastricht by voting 51 for, 49 against in their last referendum. Referenda are a failure of parliamentary government, but if they are going to occur across Europe perhaps they should all occur on the same day and by the same process!
Keith, Battle, East Sussex, UK

I don't know what this fuss is all about with the EU constitution. I come from India, which is pretty much the size of Europe, with more languages and culture than entire Europe put together and yet fall under a single umbrella of India with single currency. We have the freedom to be what we are and what we want and yet identify us as Indians. I hope Europe picks up some lessons from us on "unity in diversity".
Jay, Chennai, India

Voting for the EU constitution is the matter of voting not inside each country but voting inside the whole of Europe
Aljona, Minsk, Belarus
Voting for the EU constitution is the matter of voting not inside each country but voting inside the whole of Europe. If more than 50% of all population of EU says "yes" to the EU constitution than it should be accepted. Otherwise it is not democratic.
Aljona, Minsk, Belarus

As far as the UK is concerned, this is just the result the government needed. Now there is no need to have a referendum in this country. It's a shame really, it would be good to have the opinion of the public, rather than the party political elected "representatives" who will follow the party line. MPs rarely follow the views and wishes of those that put them in power.
Dave Jowett, Yate, England

How could the citizens of EU member states read all of the 200-plus pages of the EU proposed constitution and understand the meaning of each paragraph? I don't think they could. That gave the naysayers a full opportunity to say what they have been saying for over 10 years. So the reasons for the French and the Dutch to reject overwhelmingly the proposed constitution weren't that it was so bad for them to accept, but rather because none of them had the opportunity to understand what has been said there. If I was living in Europe, I think I would have voted yes, but I fully understand the fears and apprehension many Europeans feel towards the unknown reality of the new and stronger EU.
Eran Gafni, Rishon LeZion, Israel

The European Constitution will be resurrected and will be a stronger piece of legislation which every European citizen will eventually be proud of . Give it time to evolve. Do not cave in to the naysayers. These are just teething troubles! The EU constitution is not dead as the basis is a brilliant one; given time it will be the backbone of a strong European framework, respected, consulted and cherished.
Pancha Chandra, Brussels, Belgium

The European constitution should have gave the power to the people, but because of the consensus forced upon it by the politicians it became a uninspired document which nobody really liked. The only thing to do now is to rewrite it by young people who want to created a strong Europe in the next decades. The way to this powerful Europe is long and hard work, we can not lose hope, we must not give up, we must fight to get it right.
Peter, Wortegem, Petegem, Belgium

Europeans are weary of economic reform and a capitalist style market they feel will result from the new constitution. Since the Treaty of Nice, this isn't the first time they've been promised false security.
Gina, San Jose, CA, US

I can't see much point having a referendum knowing that whatever the outcome, it will not make any difference. Two countries have said "No". The money saved could now be spend on something a lot more useful, like proper medical provision for all British people or increased spending on Education or care for the elderly.
Carla Thompson, Rugeley UK

I can only thank the French and the Dutch, whatever their motives were, in dealing this wretched constitution a death blow. The constitution had all the hallmarks of a centrally administered, unelected and wholly unaccountable dictatorship. The people of Europe would have expensive white elephant governments that would be toothless and always at the beck and call of the witless faceless fat cat bureaucrats in Brussels. Sovereignty and identity would have been swallowed up in the amorphous mass of Europe. Does this picture not conjure up the what was the Soviet Union?
Ralph E Snape, Welton, England

European political elites have gotten so used to treating regular people like idiots and impose anything they want upon them, that when given a chance to speak, the European voters reject anything. Whose idea was it anyway, that some politicians in Brussels should decide how I can live my life?
Silvio, Roma, Italy

Most countries should think more about themselves first before engaging into a huge responsibility like a European constitution. The Dutch voted "No", not just against Europe but especially because Balkenende said "Yes". To stay on topic, the constitution isn't dead till there are 13 votes for or against it. Anything could happen.
Pascal, the Netherlands

It seems to me Europe wasn't clear what it bargained for right from 1974
Reginald Bassey, Lagos

It is obvious that there is a measure of high-powered intrigues behind the scene. But it seems to me Europe wasn't clear what it bargained for right from 1974. I do not see the death of the EU any time soon, but the issue of a constitution is a provocative one that spells doom for the EU.

However, it's good to know that the masses still have the power to say "No" to what has more implications to the man on the streets. But the question is will their voices be hearkened to? Politics in Europe seems to be the reserve of the upper echelon meandering through the corridors of power.
Reginald Bassey, Lagos, Nigeria

The constitution will be delayed but is not dead. This is definitely the only way for EU to be strong in the world economy. The progress is already huge with a strong Euro, car manufacturers, airbus etc. People are afraid because things go very quickly (60 years ago we were at war as the whole world). We need a short time (10 years is a very short time for history) before we are able accept this constitution. I hope all the countries will give their opinion and after we will judge.
N Gibert, Paris, France

Kicking issues into the long grass is a tradition in British politics, but it rarely works for EU issues. The British are kidding themselves if they think the EU cognoscenti will concede defeat so easily. A mere majority of 20%, even from two countries, is no way enough.
Wendell, Dinas Powys, vale of Glamorgan

During their period of reflection, EU politicians should give some thought to likely public reaction if democracy continues to be ignored!
Robert, Uxbridge, Middx

In Greece, there was little discussion and the treaty was ratified in a late night session of parliament without anybody noticing. All EU member states should let the people rather than parliaments with their own agendas decide on matters like this, even though I think that the whole European unification project would never have commenced if it were left to the people...
Andy, Greece

They made the Constitution and the rules for ratification. Now we have the usual arrogance of these Brussels based administrators looking for a way of changing the system to their advantage. France voted "No" so they should close the Strasbourg second parliament cutting costs in half and let the rest of Europe get on with the business. Some hope!
MA Cooper, Larissa, Greece

Its death will not be widely mourned
Lee Sainty, Hull, UK

The EU constitution in its present form is most definitely dead. Coming not a moment too soon for the majority of us, its death will not be widely mourned. The view of the vast majority of Europe's electorate's has always been straight-forward - trade "Yes", political union "No". The time for our political leaders to act in accordance with this view is long overdue.
Lee Sainty, Hull, UK

The interesting point is that Americans appear more interested and more consulted than the Europeans on this constitution. As for this idea that Europe is good, so Europe can take more responsibility instead of pondering it onto America - what utter rubbish. The whole reason Europe is bad is because we lose our responsibility as countries.
John Gearing, St Helens, UK

The French and Dutch were right to reject a bureaucratic and undemocratic vision of Europe
Tom, London

So, despite the treaty being dead the EU want us to hold a referendum at a cost of 80 million. Well, to my mind that sums up why the EU is unaccountable and out of touch and why the French and Dutch were right to reject a bureaucratic and undemocratic vision of Europe. Whatever happened to the free trade association we joined in 1974?
Tom, London

Many Dutch "No" voters were afraid we would lose our Dutch identity by voting for the constitution. It is my opinion that we, being one of the founders of the EU, lost our identity by voting against Europe!
Jan Wuite, Netherlands

The UK electorate should still be given the opportunity of registering their feelings and opinions about the EU Constitution. Politicians have been very highhanded in foisting on the general public a decision which has far reaching implications on UK Citizens - we basically do not know what we are signing up for... what does the fine print say, and no politician is willing to tell us. Inevitably the EU Constitution would have benefited France and Germany, as all decisions taken in Brussels do.
Eddie Dias, Birmingham, UK

European leaders should seek to address the concerns of the public
Omar, Richmond, USA
The rejection of the constitution by France and Holland is not surprising given that the people of Europe up until now have not had much say on the progress of European integration, a laudable but principally elitist idea. The shame, however, is that the constitution is not being rejected on its merits, but because of the simple lack of vox populi up until this point. European leaders should seek to address the concerns of the public and increase democratic participation in the Europe-building process while keeping the constitution on the table for future discussion.
Omar, Richmond, VA, USA

Two huge votes against this monstrous "constitution" and yet Schroeder, Barroso and others talk as if all will come around to their way of thinking in the end! It's a reaction which typifies Eurocrats like these. They know what's best for the citizens they are supposed to represent! I dare Schroeder to put the constitution to the vote in Germany. The result would be the same in my opinion!
Mark Galloway, Coventry

The reason that the French and Dutch have voted No is because the ordinary citizen does not feel involved in the European Grand Project. Instead they are told what is best for them by the national government. How can centralising power to an un-elected Government be "democratic" or what the people of Europe want?
Scott, Birmingham, UK

I lived in Germany for over 17 years, and I worked as a regular worker (not with military) and am moving back this summer. The European governments have never considered what is good for the individual citizens, but what would make them as a party better and stronger. The French NO vote was expected, but the Dutch vote caught my attention! One of my favourite places is the Netherlands, having visited dozens of times. The people have always expressed sorrow about how the average Dutch person has to struggle to survive, while the politicians get the benefits of the choices made in Brussels. Money, personal greed and personal agendas have put Europe on its knees, crushing the people.
Jon Lynn, Allen, Texas, USA

What amazes me in this whole episode is that our 'leaders' all trooped to Rome to sign this fatally flawed monster before taking any steps to consult with their electorates. This is not democracy as I understand it. From friends in Germany I strongly suspect they also would reject this constitution were they asked, but they are not going to be allowed to express their opinions.
Colin, London

If I were European, I would've voted "No" because I like cultural diversity, which the world is gradually losing
Carl Dirk, El Paso

As an American, I have mixed feelings about the potential loss of the EU Constitution. On the one hand, it helps the USA for Europe to remain divided, but on the other hand, it would be nice to see a Europe that lives up to taking responsibility and stop foisting it onto us. France in, particular, clearly doesn't want to make the big commitments and take risks to benefit the rest of the world.

I did mourn the loss of your currencies, because when I travelled in Europe, I loved the mystery and romance of having to exchange and figure out how to pay for things. If I were European, I would've voted "No" because I like cultural diversity, which the world is gradually losing.
Carl Dirk, El Paso, TX, USA

The citizens of Europe are proud of the wonderful cultural differences between our nations, whereas a certain politically-correct elite seem to be almost ashamed of them. The EU is a good idea generally, but nobody wants to see a superstate.
Jonathan, Nottingham

I certainly hope that the EU Constitution is not dead. Go back to the drawing board. You have undertaken a very difficult task and a very important one. The world is now multi-polar, as some of you have averred. One of the important poles is a unified Europe, equipped to compete on a level playing field, fair and square with the other poles.
John Scepanski, Madison, Wisconsin, USA

10 countries back it. How many by a free democratic vote by the people? Let's have a full vote by the people at same time.
Paul, Nottingham, UK

Do you trust the average man on the street to set the interest rate?
Daniel, Barcelona

I don't understand this people vs politicians attitude displayed here. In history things have always been built from top to bottom! Do you think there were referenda in the formation of countries, wars, and treaties? Face it people shouldn't have a vote on many matters. That's why we elect politicians, so that they make decisions for ourselves! Do you trust the average man on the street to set the interest rate?
Daniel, Barcelona

It would have been nice if we'd had a referendum on whether or not we, as the people of Europe, wanted the enlargement. I believe that the inclusion of Eastern Europe, and the proposed further enlargement, has made the traditional/western Europeans really sit up and take notice. We want our politicians to really start listening to us. We don't want a superstate. At most, we want a free trade common market like we originally joined.
Linda Thomas, London, England

Good decisions on the part of France and the Netherlands and to show my support I am going out to buy a case of French wine and some Dutch Gouda cheese!
Lauren, Kansas City, USA

All those anti-reform, short sighted no voters should take a look at the pace of change and growth in China and consider whether we (in Europe) might have a problem competing in the world fairly shortly? Without a strong, united, simple Europe we might just see our economy languish.
Will, London/Budapest

Brussels is now paying the price for not listening to the people
David, Chippenham

I believe that the EU has suffered a blow which is of its own making. By excluding the people from decision making, Brussels is now paying the price for not listening to the people. It is not as though they have not been warned repeatedly to consult, consult, consult. Common sense really. Will it kill off the treaty? Not yet. But when the UK and others reject the treaty, it will finish it.
David, Chippenham, England

What exactly is it that those politicians in Brussels don't understand in "Non" and "Nee"? The fact that Brussels is trying to keep the constitution alive after two very loud "No" votes is in itself a clear explanation of why those "No" votes came along. I take my hat off for the French and Dutch voters. I want an economic union and not a political one.
Damian, Copenhagen, Denmark

In Spain we voted "Yes" during our referendum, for we really want to support the progressive ideals Europe stands for, the EU Constitution provides us with a framework to homogenize that vision. But I also understand the "No" vote and share some of the distrust of creating a Federalist superstate - a United States of Europe with a President and other centralized oversight.

I much rather maintain the original structure, which seems more appropriate for the character of Europe, rotating six months presidencies and national sovereignty on issues of foreign policy. Europe will go on, but it is good to slow down a bit, and really think/debate our long term goals.
Marina, Gran Canaria, Spain

Having listened to both the French and the Dutch it seems that many forget that it is business that makes jobs not governments.
Kenneth Keane, Linlithgow, Scotland

I hope we get a chance to vote. I want my chance to say no thank you. We need a proper debate on the future of Europe and that must now be allowed to happen.
Jonathan, Lincoln

The draft constitution may pay lip service to citizens' rights, but it would do nothing in practice to mend the way that unaccountable EU technocrats meet behind closed doors and regulate those rights away. A constitution should guard citizens' rights and liberties, and install mechanisms to prevent governments from taking them away or making arbitrary constitutional change without thoroughgoing public consultation and agreement. That's not what this draft would do - and it's not anti-European to say so.
Terry Stancliffe, Cambridge

I'd prefer the original EU we entered - a free trade area with liberal movement of capital and labour
Tony, Epsom, UK
This does give a real opportunity to consider what the EU is. I'd prefer the original EU we entered - a free trade area with liberal movement of capital and labour, coupled with regional support for the poorer areas. All countries should have opt-outs from the social/political components, and those that opt in to them should finance them independently. I'm quite happy if France wants to pay for Italy's pensions.
Tony, Epsom, UK

So soon after our own general election and with the Euro "no " votes of France and The Netherlands still fresh, I find myself asking why are the politicians views and opinions so vastly different to the general public, on Europe. Should we not have a referendum on whether we actually want or need to be part of it at all?
Barry Johnson, Essex, England

I have read the constitution and regardless of your politics, it is a dreadful document, pompous, turgid and uninspiring. And no matter what anybody says, it paves the way for a European state - "the peoples of Europe...united ever more closely" and "The Constitution and laws adopted by the Union's Institutions shall have primacy over the law of the Member States," are examples from the first few pages.
Tim, London

The no campaign may well be pleased, but what alternative do they have? Withdraw from the EU, we face economic calamity. Cherry pick our way through Europe and it all becomes a farce, the no campaign, what's your vision?
Rob, Northfleet

The reaction of the commission is outrageous. People voted 'no' in France and Holland because they don't want to be part of a federalist super state, resent paying so much to the EU in taxes, and don't want the free market agenda currently being pushed by the Eurocrats. It's time these plans were ditched and the EU now listened to the voices of the citizens it is supposed to represent, for once.
Matthew, Bromley, UK

How can countries that share the same currency fail to agree on a constitution? For this reason, I am very glad Britain is not as integrated as other EU nations.
Jonathan Owen, Cannock, England

I agree with those that say the EU is ultimately about avoiding wars, but without this "no" vote it was headed towards destruction. You cannot have a situation in which technocrats meet behind closed doors and fix everything using impossibly arcane language that is good only for lawyers, and then say "don't worry that you can't understand it, just vote yes - it will be good for you". I would bet that even in those countries where the parliament decided, very few legislators would have read and understood the document!
David Bailey, Glossop, UK

I really wonder if people know exactly what they are voting for or against. I'm sure some people will vote 'No' because other countries have, not because they understand the constitution. If the EU want people to back the treaty they need to give out information in plain language for people to understand and relate to.
Marie, Glasgow, Scotland

European leaders have shown vision and leadership
Lesley Chisenga, Cambridge
I think Europe has just begun the second Dark Age. It will be hundred of years before the implications of decisions largely based on ignorance and fear are fully realised. European leaders have shown vision and leadership, but the people have failed them.
Lesley Chisenga, Cambridge

The constitution was too unwieldy and too inflexible, and the twofold increase in member states was too big too soon. Democracies in two countries have spoken well in rejecting the constitution in its present form. Perhaps the powers in Brussels will now listen and develop a framework constitution step-by-step, not too rigid and not too ambitious! It would be a shame if they try to manoeuvre and push the same old constitution through surreptitiously.
Satish, South Croydon

EU leaders keep going on incessantly about needing rules to govern an enlarged union of 25 countries. I'm sorry, but shouldn't the politicians have thought of that before deciding to enlarge the EU without asking the people first?
Jay Kinsella, Farnborough, UK

In the end, it will be forced through whether we like it or not
Duncan, Nottingham
It really does not matter what people vote, in the end, it will be forced through whether we like it or not. That fact that we have not had a chance to vote on the EU, or any part of our integration since 1974 is a disgrace.
Duncan, Nottingham

A rejection of the Constitution/Treaty is not a blow to the European project. On the contrary, it is a major achievement that European citizens are having the opportunity to participate in the development of the EU. The EU should involve citizens more and we should not be afraid of such rejections but should take heed and shape Europe according to its citizens' preferences.
Ludwig Saliba, Birkirkara, Malta

If Europe is to be seen and act as a 'union', then such referenda must be held simultaneously across the union. This kind of piecemeal approach causes problems because everyone watches how everyone else votes. The EU must now start to build its democratic structures from the ground up - not a top-down 'here is your constitution' approach.
Daishik, Leicester, UK

What the EU needs to do now is create a level playing field for the member states. Why should the Dutch pay the most when they receive the least from the EU. The VAT and taxes rates need to be harmonised along with the minimum wage.
Mitchell, Terneuzen, The Netherlands

I think that there are a lot of people in the UK, like me, who have only started to take an interest in the EU constitution and what it means, since the NO vote from France. How can we have a referendum that is based on informed knowledge of the subject if the government doesn't do anything to inform us and just assume we know what it's all about. They assume the uninformed voter will not vote at all.
Cathryn, Oldham, England

The constitution requires ratification from all member states. So yes, in its current form, it is dead! What all the fuss is about I don't know. Democracy means the people vote and the results must be accepted. Let's move on.
Roger Berrisford, London, UK

If France and Holland did not let their people vote for, their governments would have accepted it with a great majority. All of the countries who have accepted the constitution did not let their people vote; had they done so many other countries may have voted no as well.
Tom Scheper, Westervoort, Netherlands

The results of these referenda reminds me of the decision to go to war in Britain in 2003. It was definitely opposed by the public, but the UK parliament voted to go for it. Sometimes politicians should have the power to decide on unpopular issues.
Mazen, Trondheim, Norway

The EU idea started off as a small club of countries. Now it has gone too fast and too big. "Pride cometh before a fall".
A. Walburg, Arnhem, Holland

Democracy has won, but Europe has lost. What's depressing is the fact that it's irrational fears against foreigners and worst stereotypes about EU's new members that has triumphed. There are 22 countries supporting the constitution with only 3 against. Taking this into account, let's prepare a simple, understood small constitution that everybody would accept.
Marcin, Gdansk, Poland

If those nations that ratified by parliament did so by referenda instead then many of those countries would have voted 'No' too. There is a wide chasm in Europe between the people and the ruling classes. There is no democracy and we, the people, are being coerced into a future we don't want.
James Butler, Kerry, Ireland

The French and Dutch are right to reject it
Richard, Barcelona
What I object to is watching all the Eurocrats in their nice new shiny buildings sipping wine and having a full dinner spread while we all pay taxes and sit back and watch what is given to us. The French and Dutch are right to reject it.
Richard, Barcelona

Don't delude yourselves that the constitution is finished. It may well be dead in its current form, but they have already started to implement parts of it, ratified or not. What they will now do is to break it down into smaller, more "digestible" chunks, that can then be implemented by stealth. The "no" votes have changed nothing.
Anne, Brussels, Belgium

Construction of the European Union was begun fifty years ago to end a millennium of European wars. Halting the construction of Europe, and talk of reversing what has already been achieved may plunge us back into the dark ages.
Mike Ferenczi, London

I believe that now France and the Netherlands have rejected the constitution, we should not hold a referendum on it in the UK. I noticed that UKIP and others were calling for UK citizens to be given their say. Personally, I'd rather we didn't spend 80m of tax money on a largely purposeless exercise.
Paul, Brighton, UK

Maybe it's time to have a more detailed referendum asking individuals exactly what they see as the role of the EU and its future direction.
Jon, Northampton

Neil Kinnock said on BBC Breakfast that the result was a triumph of ignorance. The anti-democratic we-know-best attitude redolent in statements like this is exactly what people voted against.
Derek S, UK

The referendum should continue in all countries
J. de Vries, Maastricht, Netherlands
The treaty is as dead as it gets. But I think that the referendum should continue in all countries just so all the people in Europe get to voice their opinion on how the EU is currently being run. Because without the people what would the governments be but empty shells?
J. de Vries, Maastricht, Netherlands

I'll bet that very few people who voted actually read the document. I know I haven't but the French and Dutch vote has created a negative snowball and legitimised the No vote regardless of its relative merits.
Martin, Ely

Considering the turnout either in France and Holland, people are truly concerned about Europe. They obviously want more democracy, sending a clear message to their representatives as to listening more to them in the future. Each ratification by parliaments seems to be a mockery of democracy as it would have been ratified by more than 90% of the MPs in France should they have had a chance.
Thierry, France

The fact that the two countries where the people were allowed to vote on the subject clearly rejected it is telling. It is utterly arrogant of the EU politicians to assume that free people will simply rubber stamp their back room deals. I am pretty sure that the EU bigwigs will still try to save their precious constitution, but this time without allowing the people any say.
Theo Stauffer, Zurich, Switzerland

I was for the constitution, but respect that people voted against it in a democratic process. These people appeared to disagree with the constitution itself and not reject it out of a blind and unfounded hatred for the EU. Barroso's reaction however seemed to be typical of the sad direction that the Commission is heading - a group political elitists out of touch with Europe's population. Thank goodness we have the Parliament to keep them in check, especially since Barroso seems to want to ignore the results of the French and Dutch referendums.
Darryl LeCount, Paderborn, Germany

Yes that treaty is dead, and it's good news for Europe. Unless citizens feel that they are really represented in Bruxelles, and the parliament (the only elected body but with little power) play the first role in deciding the common policies and orientations, people will want to stay away from that kind of Europe.
Jean Couderc, France

I'm less worried about the result of the referenda than by how they are conducted. Surely the "death by a thousand nos" is not democratic. We wouldn't elect a parliament one constituency at a time! A referendum this important should be conducted simultaneously across the EU. Why not a vote among all EU citizens (rather than parliaments) and held at the same time as the next Euro elections? Perhaps they don't trust us to make the "right" decision?
Alan Hunt, Southampton, UK

The very document itself states that it is dead or at least fatally injured as all 25 member states must have ratified the constitutional treaty before becoming effective. I am afraid that these developments lead to an era in which the EU and her member states will turn to themselves instead of taking on the more external challenges that will come up for the EU the next few years.
Ernst, Utrecht, Netherlands

A backlash against a political elite
Gary Heron, Falkirk, UK
There are many positive aspects to a close union of European countries but the process by which we get there must be transparent and done with the consent of the people of Europe. What we are seeing in France and the Netherlands is a backlash against a political elite who have decided they want a close union and look on the views of the Europeans citizens as irrelevant at best and an inconvenient obstacle at worst.
Gary Heron, Falkirk, UK

The outcome of the two recent referenda is not a vote against Europe but against Brussels bureaucracy. There is a mismatch between the political ideals and the economic reality. Economically, Europe is on its knees with no foreseeable prospect of that situation improving. Who is going to pay for the enormous costs of the accession of the 10 recent incumbents? Of course they will all vote 'Yes' - they are not footing the bill! Time for Barroso and his Brussels bureaucrats to take stock, listen to the people and get our house in order before any further accession talks are entertained.
Una, Muscat, Oman

Get rid of the unelected EU Commission and provide a stronger elected assembly to determine EU policy etc.
Trevor Winter, Dorset, England

This constitution is as dead as the Norwegian blue parrot in the Monty Python sketch. The EU leaders are taking the role of the shifty pet shop owner in denying its death, even though it is as stiff as a board and lying on the bottom of the cage. The fat lady has sung.
Mike, Brighton, UK

It is for the people to decide, not the politicians and parliaments
Colin Grant, Manchester, UK
I feel that all countries should have had the referendum on the same day. That way, the public of Europe can get their say in whether or not we as Europeans want this constitution or not. It is for the people to decide, not the politicians and parliaments. Its long known that politicians generally follow their own party-line, not as a voice of the people they represent.
Colin Grant, Manchester, UK

Without ratification by all 25 member states, the constitution cannot come into force. It is hard to get more dead than that.
David Russell, Glasgow, Scotland

The people have spoken - they don't want the treaty in its present form. Hopefully Blair will have the conviction to stick to his guns that a referendum won't be held in the UK because there is nothing (in its present form) to vote on. Maybe we can have a vote if the treaty is cut down and rewritten.
Ben, Oxford, UK

The fact that the countries who have allowed a referendum are getting emphatic no's from their electorate whilst those who voted in parliament only have easily pushed it through shows how out of touch politicians (both in Brussels as well as locally) are with their voters. Major reform is needed, both locally and in Brussels. There is no way Blair will run the referendum here now, it would spell the end of his political career.
Alex, Aylesbury, UK

It has now been rejected not once, but twice
Stan Hearn, Oxford, UK
Before the referendums started, the politicians all told us that rejection by one country would be enough to kill the constitution issue stone dead. It has now been rejected not once, but twice. Surely any further discussion on this subject is just a waste of time. Why can't the totally un-democratic EU realise that the people have passed a damning judgment on their beloved gravy train, and go back to the economic (non-political) organisation it should be.
Stan Hearn, Oxford, UK

The constitution is not dead, but it needs a drastic rewrite it would appear. Therefore the ratification process must continue in ALL other countries so that their current position on the document as it stands can be established.
Mark, London, UK

I hope the so-called constitution is dead in the water. It is something that has been foisted upon us by politicians who think they know better than we do.
Ivan Drake, Ashford, Kent

The constitution should be as dead as a dodo. I very much think though that the EU Leaders will see it differently. They seem to do as they please and say what they like just so they can earn brownie points and be seen to be doing something other than spending our money on pointless ventures.
Lee W, Dagenham

The arrogance of Mr Barroso is incredible and exactly what the French and Dutch voted against! A clear message has come out from these referendums: People everywhere want power back from the arrogant, elitist, undemocratic, out-of-touch, supercilious machinery of the EU. Something is very rotten at the heart of Brussels.
James, London, UK




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