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Re: <nettime> French vote for a citizen's Europe [4x]
nettime's_election_observer on Thu, 2 Jun 2005 07:31:22 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> French vote for a citizen's Europe [4x]

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   Re: <nettime> French vote for a citizen's Europe
     Henning Ziegler <mail {AT} henningziegler.de>
     "s0metim3s" <s0metim3s {AT} optusnet.com.au>
     "Ben Lunt" <blunt {AT} perestroika.co.uk>
     Rozalinda <borcila {AT} arts.usf.edu>


Date: Wed, 1 Jun 2005 10:36:15 +0200
From: Henning Ziegler <mail {AT} henningziegler.de>
Subject: Re: <nettime> French vote for a citizen's Europe

Am 31.05.2005 um 17:26 schrieb Andreas Broeckmann:

> to an EU constitution. if you cannot or don't want to do that, it is
> wiser not to seek democratic legitimation - like in many other member
> states, incl. germany.)

I agree. In that case, instead of a strange coalition of French
nationalists, ultra-ethnocentrists and a new, critical 'Left' voting
Europe ten years back in time, we'd have a European constitution now.

- -H

- --
Henning Ziegler


Date: Wed, 1 Jun 2005 18:41:04 +1000
From: "s0metim3s" <s0metim3s {AT} optusnet.com.au>
Subject: RE: <nettime> French vote for a citizen's Europe

Given a margin of - what was it? - 6% or 8% on a 70% turnout, I think
it's more than plausible that the result would have been quite different
had the propositions of the treaty leaned more toward a so-called
'Social Europe'. This, surely, would have made up, at least, 10%.

But it seems just a little too convenient to put the result down to
nationalism and xenophobia. Not simply because there's nothing in the
treaty I can see for those who oppose xenophobia to get excited about
(quite the opposite). But also because I can't help thinking that this
explanation stems a little more from the packaging of this idea of
'Europe' as an enlightening force.  Given the actual content of EU
policies on migration, it seems a little dubious to then turn around and
pretend that those who voted 'no' are the only sources of xenophobia in
Europe. Those who are the architects of Schengen and more recent
policies are also the backers of the treaty, yes?

Indeed, given that 'the 10' and Turkey are likely to fulfil the function
of 'migrant labour processing zones' and internment camps for the 'inner
core' of the EU, if I were a xenophobe in France wanting to control 'the
flood', I would have voted 'oui' for a more efficient system of border
policing.  But I suppose if the politicians had mentioned this in the
advertising, it would have amounted to them getting off point: as
distinct from, say Ulrich Beck, talking about "Europe as a beacon of
freedom." Unfortunately, that implicit bit of 'anti-Americanism' just
didn't pay off this time.

So, I'm wondering about a certain acquiescence on the part of those I
imagined should know better. An acquiescence to the idea of 'Europe' as
a supposedly enlightening force (buttressed no doubt by some version of
anti-imperialist chess in which this metaphysical 'Europe' would provide
a counterwieght to an equally metaphysical 'USA'). I mean, it's not like
there were no EU governments who supported the war in Iraq, just as that
war has not been undertaken solely by the US.  But also an acqiescence
to a juridical subjectivity, as if there is no other way to do politics.

I say this from a great distance and in another hemisphere, but I feel
as if the critical, antagonistic edge of some parts of the European left
have been dulled in this process.

all the best,


Date: Wed, 1 Jun 2005 09:54:42 +0100
From: "Ben Lunt" <blunt {AT} perestroika.co.uk>
Subject: Re: <nettime> French vote for a citizen's Europe

Call me an old Marxist, but I still can't get beyond the idea that
superstructure follows base, and not the other way around.

How is this "social Europe" - to which, incidentally, the Constitution
commits itself quite explicitly in protocol 29 - to be paid for? Indeed,
how is the EU supposed to move beyond its historically
economically-driven origins without first consolidating and codifying
its current position?

By opting to settle for the status quo, the French people have sounded
the death knell for the EU's *social* aspirations ; and it's very
difficult to see how the 'no' campaign does anything but reinforce the
idea of a neo-liberal European superstate.

There are indeed many different perspectives to this debate, and as many
reasons for the French citizenry to vote 'non' as there were people who
voted thus; but the view from this side of the Channel matches Florian's
analysis far better than it does that proposed by Andreas.

Maybe someone can explain it to this dumbass Inseleinwohner...

- -B.


Date: Wed, 1 Jun 2005 08:01:02 -0700 (PDT)
From: Rozalinda <borcila {AT} arts.usf.edu>
Subject: Re: <nettime> French vote for a citizen's Europe

I have been watching Romanian TV coverage of the OUI and NON campaigns,
as well as media commentary on the result of the vote.  Predictably, the
non campaign is consistently portrayed as reactionary and conservative.
Aside of the semantic strategies, the VISUAL representation of the
campaigns on TV insisted upon close-ups of young, hip and smiling faces
with OUI t-hirts on one side and old, reptilean, grupmy faces with NON
T-shirts on the other. additionally, the only non-white faces we saw
were in the oui campaign. these tropes were in no way subtle, but very
effective in mobilizing what is already a fearful reaction. they
function in a specific context: Romania's bid to join the EU is
potentially in jeopardy, resentment over the eastward expansion of the
EU being, indeed, one of the main mobilizing points of the non campaign.
It seems nearly impossible to have a debate in Romania at this point in
which to look at the merits of the non campaign, or in which to find
some validity -- any validity -- in a position that is in any way
critical of EU developments or the propsed Constitution: such a position
is seen as implicitly as anti-Romanian. (we remember the same phenomenon
with Romania's bid to join NATO) Voices that have been critical of the
market-driven logic of the EU have been effectively silenced. 
One of the major requirements for Romania's bid is a rapid tranformation
of immigration laws and practices. As the potential future eastern-most
border of Europe, Romania is rehearsing becoming a buffer zone -- not
entirely a new role here, historically speaking -- the first line of
european defense against the flood of undesirables from *even* farther
east. not only have immigration statutes changed, what seems most
remarkable to me is the palpable change in the attitude of ordinary
Romanians towards asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants. until only a
few years ago there was still a certain level of sympathy or even
empathy, given our recent history. there is now an often hostile and
violent reaction to non-western foreigners, and there is much new
language in place to categorically differentiate oneself from "them".
here, too, one cannnot escape fear and resentment of the (relative)

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