Statement on recent referenda results
Statement on behalf of Mgr Noël Treanor, Secretary General of the Commission of Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community.
“The French and Dutch “No” require discernment on the part of both politicians and citizens. The “ No” vote is multifarious. Therefore an outright rejection of the European project is not to be concluded
It expresses genuine apprehension concerning social, economic and security issues in the member states and questions the adequacy of EU policy in these regards. It sounds a warning on limitless enlargement of the EU. Citizens’ fears require courageous and coherent responses on the part of our political leaders both at national and European level
Unfortunately it is also the case that a proportion of the “no” vote is the result of misinformation and inadequate communication of the purpose and content of the Constitutional Treaty.
It underlines the need to develop transparency, legitimacy and participation in the system of governance. New ways of communicating the purpose of the European project itself and the process of European policy-making will have to be devised. To be credible and owned by the European citizen, European policymaking has to be clearly rooted in a value system that respects and promotes Europe’s heritage.
It should not be forgotten that ten member states have already ratified the Constitutional Treaty. The significance of these endorsements should not be ignored.
The Constitutional Treaty is the product of a creative effort on the part of European and national political representatives, civil servants, constitutional specialists and representatives of the numerous components of European civil society. Its achievement as a compromise between 25 member states still stands. It will remain an essential source for the further evolution of the European project.
All citizens of Europe, Christian citizens in particular, must re-energise their appreciation of the political and societal importance of the European project and of its achievements so far. Today the European project remains as vital for promoting peace, achieving economic growth, and assuring social cohesion and inclusion as it was fifty years ago.
In its forthcoming meeting on 9-10 June the Executive Committee of COMECE will consider the outcome of the recent referenda.”