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French citizens at home, abroad and especially in Southern Italy, who can understand more than you what is at stake in the referendum of May 29th?

We urge you to vote at your consulates in order that your experience will also become the one of 45 Mio European citizens; say Yes once again to Europe.

There lies a big responsibility on the French electorate who will vote for the ratification of the Treaty instituting the European Constitution on the 29th May 2005. In a relevant measure, their decision will determine the future of over 45 Mio EU citizens and the nature of the relations of their respective countries with the rest of the Mediterranean.

We hope for the victory of a YES.

In case of a NO on the ratification of the European Constitution would lead to a critical halt of the integration process of the European policy. Even more severe even, if there was a beginning of a transformation of the Union into a simple Free trade zone.

Such a refusal would certainly also influence other countries which have not taken any position yet.

A French NO would actually shelve this Constitution and discredit its content, which so far, has proven to be innovative and democratic in regards to other traditional intergovernmental documents.

France has given an invaluable contribution in terms of civilisation, culture and initiatives backing the integration of countries of the old continent. Being the undisputed reference favouring the communitarian integration process, a negative vote would irreversibly compromise its role.

Europe owes a lot to the French way of thinking and to its political action.

A possible rejection of the text of the Treaty would lead to a collapse of the hopes that have been cultivated by the European citizens; old and new ones, but above all the hopes of those who have considered the belonging to the Union as a completion of freedom and fundamental rights, the integration between the countries and more recently that of the Mediterranean area.

A YES would nurture itself with the European ideals of many political figures who have marked history and who have not only viewed Europe as a physical space but more a movement, a great possibility for peace and development of values such as solidarity, equality, justice, and freedom: these are the fundamental values which are fully incarnated in the Constitution.

With its 448 articles, the Constitution contributes to the improvement of the relations among the European institutions and with the national Parliaments, as well as with the 25 countries conferring full freedom of choice and a right measure of independence protecting it from the ancient and failing political and economical autarchies which only Europe has been able to limit so far.

In accordance with the “small steps” approach by Robert Schumann, the Constitution will be prone to revisions and modifications in order to correct loopholes and possible limited applications.

We wish that the hopes and the expectations of the Europeans will not be deceived now, in this crucial moment where we could still vote YES thanks to the citizens of France and Europe.

Gerardo Marotta, President of the Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici
Walter Schwimmer, Secretary General of Maison de la Méditerranée
Predrag Matvejevic’, President  of the International Scientific Committee

Michele Capasso, President of the Fondazione Laboratorio Mediterraneo

Caterina Arcidiacono, Vice-President of the Fondazione Laboratorio Mediterraneo


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