A high-level European Commission official told Asia Times Online, "France's loss of leadership will logically profit Great Britain, which will take the EU's presidency on July 1 with a reform program based on deregulation and flexibility of job markets. France may try to oppose it, but it will be in the minority, and not too credible." It's what French daily Liberation has dubbed "Plan B(lair)."
The official adds this will be "cruel and tragic for those who have voted 'non' - some are really sincere - because the neo-liberal turning of the screws will be terrible". A more "social" Europe seems to be doomed: a French diplomat says, "This is when we will see to which extent we shot ourselves in the foot. Social Europe is even more affected than any other policy. The dynamic of national egos is back in place."
An EU diplomat tries to sum it all up in one sound bite: "We're in outer space...the dark side of the force has won."
A collective text circulating frantically in Brussels since Monday points out, "Europe so far has been the ideal alibi for governments, whatever their political colors, to endorse certain 'unsaleable' responsibilities in front of public opinion." The European utopia may be alive in Brussels, but in individual European countries the name of the game seems to be indifference - if not outright rage.
The text outlines some key concepts: "courage"; "humanism"; looking beyond nationalist cultures; "fraternity"; the European adventure of a "unique community, a model in many aspects to other continents". Could it be that the double French-Dutch "no" will lead to people finally being consulted about their dream of Europe - in the cleansing ritual of a pan-European debate?
Or maybe the truth is simpler, and infinitely more brutal: the dream of a politically united Europe - a salutary counterpower to the US superpower - has been lost because there are no more visionaries to sell it to their own citizens.
Bron: Asia Times