After eighteen months of trying to patch together an agreement between the member states, the talks on the EU constitution collapsed last weekend in Brussels. Different excuses have been given for the collapse, but the real causes are to be found in the fundamental economic contradictions that are emerging between the EU member states. The European Union is now revealing its true face. It is a tool in the hands of the multinationals and of each national bourgeoisie with which to impose their attacks on the living standards of the masses.

We are publishing this article which appears in the recent edition of the French Marxist magazine La Riposte looking at the prospects of a European Constitution. How have the Communist and Socialist Parties of France responded to it, and what does it mean for the working class?

The recent European elections reveal one common feature: the defeat of whoever is in power (apart from Greece and Spain where this had already happened in elections earlier this year). The workers of Europe voted against the same policies. They are fed up of cuts in pensions, healthcare, education and a general worsening of their living standards. The elections are a clear indication of the mood developing in society.

Bush's war in Iraq split the European Union and NATO into two. Now after Aznar lost his job as Spanish Prime Minister, and Berlusconi has been dramatically weakened does this mean that the European powers can find a common ground? In reality they all hang together because divided they could not survive in the world market, but there are still deep divisions. By Claudio Bellotti, Originally published in FalceMartello number 176, May 27, 2004.

The reaction of the media and the politicians to the massive “no” votes against the European Constitution in France and the Netherlands reveals the nature of our “elites”. However, all the propaganda was to no avail. A few days after the “non” vote in France, the same thing happened in the Netherlands.

Last week’s European summit ended in tears as negotiations on the European Union budget collapsed. The usual diplomatic talk was nowhere to be seen at what will become known as the summit where the whole integration process in the EU was halted in its tracks. Maarten Vanheuverswyn looks at the conflicting national interests that are at the heart of this crisis.

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