At the European Parliament in Brussels, the Socialist members are watching their French national counterparts with interest. If the result goes against the treaty, it would leave France’s Socialists isolated from other left-wing parties across Europe.
German Social Democrat MEP Jo Leinen sounded a cautionary note: “The danger is there: the European Constitution must not be abused in internal power struggles, either by a party or a state. It is a communal project of the 25 parliaments and the 25 states. One therefore has a responsibility for the whole thing and not only for one’s own interests.” Italian left MEP Nicola Zingaretti had a measure of criticism for the Constitution: “I would say that it has been too shy. It should have been more courageous in defending European “instruments”. And: I believe that a rejection of this Constitution would be such a disaster, create such a slow-down in the unification process, it could hit the social cohesion of our continent.” Spanish Socialist MEP Miguel Angel Martinez was pragmatic and optimistic in his outlook: “It is a mistake to compare the text of the Constitution with an ideal, rather than reality. When it’s compared with reality, there isn’t a single step backward, they are all steps forward.”