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Botuar: E enjte, 02 qershor 2005 - 15:03 CET

Vota holandeze për kushtetutën e BE-së

In the Netherlands, even ardent supporters of the constitution have acknowledged in advance that a No vote is likely, perhaps an overwhelming one. If so, two founding member nations of the European Community would have rejected the constitution as a new political basis to unite the European continent, and it would be seen as a dead letter.

It's likely then that Britain and perhaps other countries that have not yet ratified it would call off those plans, saying there was no longer any treaty to vote on.

In the short term, EU leaders are to meet for their first face to face talks on the crisis at a planned summit in Brussels in two weeks time. They face the drastic prospect of having to discard plans set out in the constitution for a new, more formal European layer of government, including an embryonic EU diplomatic service and more EU-level powers over key areas like immigration.

The European Union has faced many crises in the past, but none as fundamental as this. The No vote in France has divided the Franco-German partnership which those countries have long claimed as the pillar of the EU project. It also reflects deep French opposition to the EU's ongoing enlargement and economic reforms, which other members states consider urgent and vital.

For weeks now EU institutions have been marking time, waiting for the verdict of two nations at the heart of Europe. The verdict from France already seems to put their legitimacy in doubt. Statesmanship and good luck will be needed to craft a new mission for the EU, and the Union has not been blessed with either in recent times.

William Horsley, BBC, Brussels

ardent supporters
mbështetës të flaktë

a dead letter
letër, dokument pa vlerë

call off
anuloj, pezulloj

face to face
ballë për ballë

face
përballoj

to discard
hedh poshtë

embryonic
në embrion

pillar
mbështetës kryesor, shtyllë

marking time
qëndroj në vend numëro

has not been blessed with
nuk ka patur fatin të ketë