François Bayrou: calls for new text which can be put to referendum

François Bayrou (picture Gerard Obispo)

François Bayrou said citizens felt they had “a Europe, that they did not choose, imposed on them” with “opaque” and “impenetrable” rules, he said, before considering the “true nature of the European project”. In order to avoid further widening the divide between Europe and the people, the French would, whatever happened, be called on to vote on the new text, in 2009 perhaps, but not necessarily at the same time as other countries of the EU, he said. He wanted to get down to seven major pieces of work for Europe: an economic policy, particularly for the eurozone, with “budgetary and tax harmonisation”; joint diplomatic action; defence; climate issues; energy policy; immigration policy; and European research policy. These were areas where there was “no response without Europe”, while others, such as social policy, could be set in each country, Mr Bayrou said. “I believe that when this question is put, it is out of the question that it be dealt with other than through a referendum.”

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