Despite the French rejection of the proposed Constitution, there is no institutional equivalent of the Brussels bureaucracy advocating an alternative EU vision or the vision of no EU at all. In other words, the European 'process' remains a one-party show and the French rejection has no more significance than Kim Il Sung's failure to get a certain percentage of votes. Interesting but irrelevant if he is the only candidate.Of course, it is possible that a severely scaled-down version of the EU constitution could finally develop out of this controversy, or that an institutional alternative might still emerge, although at this point it is hard to see from whence it could come.
Then Wretchard makes an extremely interesting point. He writes:
One axiom from the Watergate years was that it was "the coverup that gets you". In this case, it is not the rejection by the French voters that is most significant but the failure of the rejection to have any significance at all. The cavalier dismissal of the French vote describes the 'process' for what it is: a project in the hands of an elite. The real challenge for Europeans, especially Eastern Europeans and the British, is to articulate an alternative vision for the Continent. The European vision needs a second party in order to make up a debate.You can say that again. Plan A isn't working -- someone had better come up with an alternative.
Read Wretchard's comments here.