Textes en langues étrangères
 Marie-Victoire Louis  *

I am a woman, I am a feminist, I vote "No" on the treaty establishing a constitution for Europe.

Published by Sisyphe 25/05/20051
Date de la traduction: 10/02/2007

date de rédaction : 10/05/2006
date de publication : 25/05/2006
mise en ligne : 13/03/2007
Augmenter la taille du texteDiminuer la taille du texteImprimer le texteRecommander ce texte par mail

Version française disponible ici.

I am a woman, I am a feminist, I vote "No" on the treaty establishing a constitution for Europe (from now on, will be called "treaty"). Because nothing in this text can provide a positive reason for a women to vote for it while the reasons for refusing it are legion. For all women and men.

In order to understand it, I asked myself certain questions that I did not see treated in critical texts and/or whose answers did not satisfy me.

1. In the first paragraph of the "Preamble" of the Constitution, I read that the text mentions
"the universal values of the inviolable and inalienable rights of the human person".  I also read that these rights concern only "the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance " - and not political" - from which "Europe takes its inspiration."

I deduce from this that they are relative and not binding.

2. In the second paragraph of the "Preamble" of the "Charter of fundamental rights of the Union, recorded in this same text (but in part II) - I then read:
"Conscious of its spiritual and moral heritage, the Union is founded on the indivisible, universal values of human dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity ...". 

I observe, in the passage from the first "preamble" to the second "Preamble," a change in the terms: from the "rights of the human person" to " human dignity " while the word "person" – whose importance is difficult to deny – disappears. It only reappears in the following sentence, but then the "human" qualifier that had modified (that was placed next to it) it disappears. Moreover, it is then simply stated that the Union "places the individual at the heart of its activities ..."

I deduce from this that this change considerably reduces the range of the "value" the Union grants to the "human person".
I deduce from this that the status of "the person" is no longer based on the founding principles of the Union.
I deduce from this that the "rights" called "fundamental" are thus no longer inalienable. It is no longer question in paragraph 4 of anything but affirming the necessity of "strengthen[ing] the protection of fundamental rights in the light of changes in society, social progress and scientific and technological developments."

I observe the vagueness, the lack of vigor and the absence of definition of all the terms: not only: "fundamental rights" but also "evolution” or "society" -  while the term "peoples" is used several times – "social progress," scientific and technological development."

I also observe that the principles of the project's economic liberalism take priority over the value of the ["human] person." The political engagement of this project – i.e.: The Union…. ensures free movement of persons, services, goods and capital …" - precedes the phrase quoted above concerning the "necessity of "strengthen[ing] the protection of fundamental rights."

I then observe that, probably for the first time in Europe, and for the first time in a text dealing with "rights of the person," this project establishes an equivalent status for "persons" … and "capital."2

In the same sense and probably also for the first time, a constitutional text establishes an equivalent status in the same sentence for "persons" and "animals." Twice. In article III-121, it is formally affirmed that: "The Union and the Member States shall, since animals are sentient beings, pay full regard to the requirements of animal welfare …" while article III-154 mentions … "the protection of health and life of humans, animals …".

I deduce that this "Preamble" makes unacceptable conceptual, political, and philosophic assimilations that are not only regressions but paradigmatic changes in questions of rights and the human person.

Concerning this, it is probably not by chance that the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man is not cited, and that article III-292, in heading V devoted to "the Union's external action," merely mentions the simple "respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter" alone.

3. I read then in this same second part, article II.-61, that affirms: "Human dignity is inviolable. It must be respected and protected."

I observe that the term "person" has totally disappeared while the modifier "human" has reappeared, but this time joined to that of "dignity."

I observe that this assertion does not concern "inalienable," since "human dignity" must be "respected and protected." And not "guaranteed."

I observe then that the eminently subjective term "dignity," that refers to a quality, to an appreciation, and to the "respect that everyone deserves" and /or "to the respect of self " is considered here as first, and thus essential, in questions of "rights of persons."

I deduce from this that this new founding term "dignity" – undefined – is, for more than one reason, dangerous. It is, moreover, significantly part of extreme right –wing vocabulary, of all patriarchal religions, as well as that of all people, men and women, who defend in fact or in law either the superiority of men over women, or the principle of division, and of the hierarchy of roles, jobs and functions between the sexes, particularly in the family.

I observe then that "dignity" in itself can scarcely be considered as "inviolable."


Last point: I observe the appearance of the expression – also undefined -  "… victims of natural or man-made disasters." (Art. III-321), itself included in the section devoted to "humanitarian aid."  

There are none.

I then looked for other references concerning "rights."

I read that reference is made to the "respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities" (Art. I.2), "protection of the rights of the child" (Art.I-3-4), "protection of human rights, in particular the rights of the child" (Art. I-3-4), "rights of the child" (Art. II-84-1,2,3), "rights of the elderly" (Art. II-85), "rights … of employed persons (Art. III-172).

I observe the conceptual confusion in the text as a whole concerning the terms dealing with human "rights": "right," "respect," "protection," and even for the assimilation of the "rights and interests of employed persons" (Art.III-172.2).

I observe the confusion concerning the "groups" on which are conferred "rights:" human beings, minorities, the child, the elderly, employed persons."

I then observe that the patriarchal bases of  "human rights" long denounced by feminists, embodied by the so-called universal Declaration of human rights, remain unchanged.

I deduce, that as a woman, I do not have text any specific right in this and that the question of "women's rights" does not concern the Union's fields of activity.

I deduce that the "right of petition," "open to any citizen of the Union and any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a Member State, shall have the right to address, individually or in association with other persons, a petition to the European Parliament on a matter which comes within the Union's fields of activity and which affects him, her or it directly" (Art III-334) can not be used by women claiming new rights.

"Human beings" assimilated to "capital," "animals" whose welfare like for women is mentioned: this is no longer simply a question of regression, but well and truly a change of paradigm.

I observe that the patriarchal systems of analysis are maintained and even strengthened.

I first looked to see where and when the word "woman" was used.
It is in two cases:
- several times in reference to "human beings". I will come back to this.
- twice, assimilated to "children": In article III-267 devoted to "common immigration policy," in reference to "measures" to take "aimed at ensuring, at all stages, the efficient management of migration flows,"concerning "trafficking in human beings," "in particular women and children." And in article III-271 devoted to "areas of crime" among which are: "… trafficking in human beings and sexual exploitation of women and children."

I observe therefore that women alone are never treated as human persons whereas men benefit from rights and powers, in particular over women in the texts cited by the project governing "human rights." And that 'children' benefit from rights in those governing "children's rights."

I deduce that women – never named – are always subsumed in the structure called "family," in which they and they alone disappear.

I then read §1 of article II.93 that states: "The family shall enjoy legal, economic and social protection."

I observe that the writers of this constitution did not deem it necessary to define what they meant by "family." What "family" is it? No one knows. Nor does anyone know what jurisdictions are responsible for assuring its protection, under what conditions and on what matters. Thus, how can one "protect" a social, sexed, eminently political structure when no one knows what it is meant by it?

I observe that the term "protection" of a social and sexed structure composed of several categories of members (man, woman, child) having within it rights of different natures – we have seen that women, unlike men and children, were the only ones to be formally deprived of "rights" - is in contradiction with the concept of "right." In questions of "rights," States have the obligation to guarantee them.

I deduce from this that the question of the status of women in this family is not considered worthy of being specifically and precisely treated. That women are still enclosed, dissolved, in this family. And they disappear in it.

I observe then that no progress in this area is mentioned by the Union nor demanded by the member States.
Whereas in comparison an article foresees that "member States shall undertake progressively to improve their military capabilities" (Art.1-41).

I deduce from it that this article is in contradiction with the affirmation of the "inviolable and inalienable rights of the human person."

I observe that the "family" is dealt with in a broader article called: "Family and professional life."

I recall that reconciling3 professional and family life, necessary for an employment policy that is profitable to companies and to the State, depends essentially on the women who pay the highest price in terms of the nature of the work contract (precarious), length of employment (part-time work), salary (lower), and promotion (limited).

I deduce that in this text the family is considered if not a "by-product," at least as less important than the junction of "family and professional life;" and thus as secondary - even if not exclusively - to economic logic.

I also recall that it is in the structure of "the family" thus "protected"4 –including by the so-called 1948 'universal' Declaration of human rights – that for centuries, women have been subordinated, subdued, and dominated by men, reinforced in their right over women by States. So long as one refers to the entity "family," without any more precision on the limits put on the respective rights of each of its members, the historical, juridical, and political powers conferred on the "heads of families can only be reinforced.

From then on, all the abuses of patriarchal powers, the multiple forms of masculine domination written into civil, penal and family codes in the whole of European countries (including France) can be, with this text, "protected" from the challenges and denunciations of women and feminists.

I observe that, there again in comparison, the treaty knows, when it is a question of its interests, how to set up limits. So in questions of "trade," "Any abuse by one or more under takings of a dominant position," but also … "Such abuse" (Art.III- 161) are condemned while it specifies that in certain conditions, certain "agreements and decisions" are "shall be automatically void.

I deduce from this that the limits thus set in questions of "competition" are not foreseen concerning men's powers in "the family." And more generally, everywhere else.
In that respect, the statement of the "right to marry and the right to found a family" (Art.II-69) but not to divorce can only be a source of worry.

I then asked myself about the status of "maternity".

This term is mentioned once as a motive of protection against "protection from dismissal for a reason connected with maternity." Then, without any other details is mentioned a "right to paid maternity leave and to parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child (art.II.93.2).
But in as much as these "rights" are included in an article that concerns "reconciling family and professional life," the formulation leads to uncertainty on the effectiveness of this right for women who are unemployed or out of work.

Lastly, the addition of these words: "for a reason connected with" [maternity] cannot be considered as limiting.

The term is mentioned a second time in an article entitled: "Social security and social assistance". There maternity is considered – with no other detail – as "the entitlement to social security benefits and social services" (Art. II-94.1), following the example of "cases such as maternity, illness, industrial accidents, dependency or old age, and in the case of loss of employment". There is thus no longer any specific status concerning maternity; and furthermore, maternity here has to do with accident, dependence and catastrophe.

I observe that women do not benefit from any right of their own; furthermore, that they are excluded from rights formally recognized to other categories of the population.

For example, I observe that "the Union recognises and respects the rights of the elderly to lead a life of dignity and independence … (Article II-85), while it "recognises and respects the right of persons with disabilities to benefit from measures designed to ensure their independence, social and occupational integration and participation in the life of the community" (Article II-86).

I deduce from this that the Union excludes women from all these "rights," since they are formally named and formally affirmed for others, elsewhere.

I observe that neither the term "abortion," nor the "IVG" (voluntary interruption of pregnancy, in France) nor even "contraception," is mentioned. On the other hand, one can read in article II-62, previously cited: "Every one has the right to life." This formulation can only satisfy the opponents to abortion who call themselves "pro-life" – whereas it confers no positive right on women who desire, want or are forced to have an abortion.

I thus deduce that the constitution encourages the theses of abortion opponents and can put into question the rights of women obtained in this field by those who defend it. And that a political alliance among abortion opponents, the "Churches" (Art 1-52) and the European Union that is worried about the drop in the birth rate and about the aging of the European population has undoubtedly taken place.

What can one say?

1) I observe that neither the term "prostitution" nor "pimping," nor even  "clients" and "prostitutes" are mentioned in this project.

2) I observe that it is not even mentioned in article III-278 devoted to "Public health"

In questions of "public health"5 only "major health scourges", and then "major cross?border health scourges" are mentioned. If the so-called "scourges" were thought of at all as concerning "prostitution," the word "scourge" (which means "source of widespread dreadful affliction and devastation such as that caused by pestilence or war") prohibits any integration of the prostitutional system in the political field of the "rights of persons".

Moreover, the addition of the term "major" and that of "cross-border" would, in this hypothesis, considerably limit the scope of a European health policy in this matter.

3. I observe that the political philosophy of abolitionism to which a certain number of European countries referred to including France that, in 1960 ratified the UN convention "for
the repression of the trafficking of human beings and the exploitation of the prostitution of others" of November 2, 1949 – does not appear either in the preambles nor in the articles governing the "fundamental rights of the Union."

I deduce from this that in the fight that European abolitionist States fought with pimping States the latter won definitively.

I deduce from this – which is totally in keeping with all the texts previously enacted by Europe, including those adopted by the European Parliament6– that the Union is not only not abolitionist – which it has never, as an entity, stated it was – but has well and good become a pimping Europe. That does not condemn pimping and thus legitimates it.

4) I observe that §3 of article II-65 that states: "trafficking of human beings is prohibited," does not say either that "prostitution is prohibited," or that the "trade of human beings" is prohibited.

I deduce from this that prostitution is legitimated. This is the case in as much as "trafficking" cannot logically exist except in the framework of policies that legitimate and that legalize the prostitutional system. That they have put sex on the market.

5) I observe that this prohibition of "trafficking" in human beings is part of an article – only – entitled: "Prohibition of slavery and forced labour."

I deduce from this that insofar as the first two paragraphs concern "slavery" and "forced labour," "trafficking in human beings" – its title not being referred to in the title of the article – has to do with one or the other. Or both. And then it loses all conceptual specificity, that the expression "sexual exploitation" concludes.

6) I observe that the term "trafficking" is not defined either.
I deduce from this that the question of whether trafficking concerns within Europe and/or between Europe and the rest of the world remains open.
But I observe that the term "trafficking" as being able to apply within the Union can be considered as concerning a contradiction in terms since Europe "ensures free movement of persons" (Preamble of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the Union). The question of whether trafficking concerns only the relations between the Union and the rest of the world remains open. I observe that this ambiguity can only satisfy the defenders of a pimping Europe.

7) I observe that in "judicial cooperation in criminal matters, "trafficking in human beings" is dissociated from "sexual exploitation of women and children" (Art.III-271).

 I deduce from this that "sexual exploitation of women and children" is not part of "trafficking in human beings".

8) I observe that the UN convention against organized cross-border criminality, adopted in Palermo in 2000, as well as other Union texts use the term "traffic."

I deduce from this that a little more conceptual confusion is added in an area that does not lack in it. And this confusion can only satisfy those who have an interest in creating it: the defenders of the pimping system.

9) I observe that another article (Art.III-267) concerns "trafficking," which removes of any meaning the peremptory statement of its "prohibition." I thus read in section 2 of part 3 devoted to "policies on border checks, asylum and immigration:"
"The Union shall develop a common immigration policy aimed at ensuring, at all stages, the efficient management of migration flows, fair treatment of third?country nationals residing legally in Member States, and the prevention of, and enhanced measures to combat, illegal immigration and trafficking in human beings."

I observe that "efficient management of migration flows" and develop[ing] … the prevention of … trafficking" is incompatible with the affirmation "prohibition of trafficking."

I deduce from this that the assertion of the prohibition of trafficking has no meaning except as a smokescreen.

10) True, it would be possible to retort that Article II.63 that asserts that: "Every one has the right to respect for his or her physical and mental integrity" could be used by the defenders of a possible abolitionist reading of this text, but the absence of any reference to sexual integrity can only exclude such eventuality/

11) Another article, (Article II-63.2c) that affirms "the prohibition on making the human body and its parts as such a source of financial gain" could, on the other hand, prove to be a more serious objection to my analysis. The question thus posed to its writers is: Are the sex and "its parts as such" part of the human body?
In pure logic, the answer can only be positive.
And yet, in the minds of the text's writers, the hypothesis that only "the donation….of organs and blood" would be specifically mentioned is more than probable. And they are specifically cited in article III-278.
It can also be affirmed in this context that no other previous text of the Union, nor any of the articles of this project can allow such an interpretation: in any case, the term "prostitution" and "abolitionism" would have necessarily had to be formally cited.

12) It must also be added that the references in Article III-154 to the notions of "public morality, public policy or public security"– that have always been invoked in the prostitutional system against its victims and without being invoked against the "clients," rarely against the pimps, and never, of course, against the State – exclude any abolitionist approach in this matter of the treaty for the establishment of a European constitution

I didn't find anything. The word is not mentioned.
I deduce from this that it is legal.

I found nothing. These words are not cited although in "public health," there is mention of  "drug,", "tobacco,", and – curiously – "alcohol abuse."  And lastly, already mentioned, the "donation…. of organs and blood" (Art.III-278).

I deduce from this that the fight against HIV/Sida, which, as one knows, affects women in the majority, is not part of the political project, nor even of Europe's "public health" project.

I found nothing. These words are not cited.
I also observed that the fight against sexist – nor the fight against homophobia – are not part of the European projects either.

I deduce from this that millions of European women, killed, tortured, raped, molested, objects of insults and humiliations, and prostituted are of no importance to the European constitution to which women are asked to give their acceptance.

I found nothing. The term is not mentioned.

I deduce from this that the future looks very good for the political system hegemonically composed of men. And that it does not have much to fear.

This is what I noted. I saw cited:

citizens (Art.I-1, I-45, 46) entitled: "the principle of democratic equality," 47,  entitled: The principle of representative democracy I-50, II-99,100,102,103,104,105,106, III-125,126 127, 334
inhabitants (Preamble)
one national  (ArtI-26, ArtI-31, III-133)
young Europeans (Art.III-321
consumers (Art.I-14.2, II-98, III-120,172), individual consumer  (Art.III.167)
heads of State (ArtI-21, ), and President  (Art.1-21,22,25, III348)
European Parliament (Art.I-39)
Council (Art.I-39)
European Council (Art.III-295)
Court of Justice (Art.III-355)
Tribunal (Art.III-356)
Minister (Art.I-26, 27, 28…), the minister for foreign affairs (Art.III-293), the general secretary (Art.III-344), the permanent representative (Art.III-344), the candidate (Art.I.27), the judge, general lawyer, the general lawyers (Art.1-29, III-355), the negotiator (Art.III-325), the head of the team (Ibid.), the European mediator (Art. I-49,III-335
The employers, the wage earners and other representatives of civil society (Art. 1-32)
Workers and their representatives (Art.II.87), the worker (Art. II-90, 91, III-133, 134 (cited three times), 136), young workers (Art.III-135), migrant workers, salaried or unsalaried (Art.III. 136), the salaried worker (Art.III-138, 172). Finally female and male workers are mentioned once (Art.III-214).

And lastly, the list not being exhaustive  - representatives (Art. I-23, 24, 32, 44), member (Art.I-59, III-355), agents (Art.III-372), national competent agents (Art.III-273) …

I observe that no function, no qualification, no reference, no job, and no status can be considered in this project as concerning women also.

It is useless to emphasize the exclusively masculine, patriarchal, and macho and therefore non-universal dimension of the terms employed in this text.

It is important, here too, to carry out a precise analysis. In order of reference to the articles.

1) In the Preamble of the treaty, I observe that equality between men and women is not cited; only the word "equality" without any other precision exists.

I deduce from this that as a woman – and even in relation to a man – I do not have a recognized place in and by the Union. Furthermore, that the use of two terms, "inhabitants" and "citizens", both in the masculine form, exclude me formally (applies to French and not to English).

2) In the "Union's values," I read in the article devoted to the "Union's values" (Art.I-2): "The Union is founded on the values of …  equality" … .
These values are common to the Member States in a society in which …  equality between women and men prevail" (cited, moreover, in the last place, and particularly after "non-discrimination").

I observe that the Union is not founded on the "values" of "equality between women and men."

I observe that the Union is just considering "equalilty" as simply "founding" the "societies" of the Union."

I deduce from this that "equality between women and men" is not part of European "values".

3) In article I-45 that concerns the "principle of democratic equality" [of the Union], I observe that only "equality of citizens" is mentioned. I deduce from this that for the European Union, women citizens do not exist (applies to the French text and not to the English).

4) In article I-3 that concerns "objectives of the Union," I read in the third paragraph, that the Union …  "promote[s … ] equality between women and men."

I observe that the Union does not defend the very principle of equality between women and men, since "to promote" means " 1.a. To raise to a more important or responsible job or rank.
b. To advance (a student) to the next higher grade. 2. To contribute to the progress or growth of; further. 3. To urge the adoption of; advocate. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Houghton Mifflin Company.

5) I read that, in the "Preamble" of the "Charter of fundamental rights," once again, only the word "equality" is cited.

I deduce from this that the analysis concerning the "preamble" of the Constitution is confirmed.

6) In Title III – of part II – devoted to "Equality," I read:
- Art. II-80: "Every one is equal before the law."
-
Art. II-83. "Equality between women and men must be ensured in all areas, including employment, work and pay.
The principle of equality shall not prevent the maintenance or adoption of measures providing for specific advantages in favour of the under-represented sex."

I observe that "Every one is equal before the law" - an obscure phrase if ever there was one – is affirmed even though the "Preambles" do not refer to the "equality between women and men."
I observe that the "equality between women and men" does not explicitly concern the field of "equal[ity] before the law".
I observe that the "equality between women and men" to which reference is made in Art. II-83 (i.e. after 82 other articles) is simply stated, without any other precision, as having "to be ensured."
I observe that derogatory measures – and moreover extremely vague – to this affirmation are set down immediately after.
I observe that the explicit reference to "employment, work and pay" can also be considered as weakening this principle in other areas.

I deduce from this that everything is done to eviscerate the meaning, value, scope and political and juridical project from "the equality between women and men". And to create confusion.

7) In Part III – devoted to the "the policies and functioning of the union" – I read article III-116: In all the activities referred to in this Part, the Union shall aim to eliminate inequalities, and to promote equality, between women and men.

I observe that in addition to the criticism already mentioned of the term "to promote," the expression " aim to eliminate" does not commit the Union to anything. And moreover, these terms only concern the "activities referred to" in Part III of the text, cited above.

8) Still in Part III, I read article III-214: "Each Member State shall ensure that the principle of equal pay for female and male workers for equal work or work of equal value is applied."
I observe that ensuring "that the principle … is applied" does not imply any concrete obligation.

I observe that in this same article, reference is made to an equivalent status of "equal opportunities" and "equal treatment" "between women and men," whereas these two terms are not only not equivalent to each other but in addition both are opposed to the notion of "equal[ity] before the law," and even more ""equal[ity] of rights."

At the end of this presentation of the articles concerning the equality between women and men, I conclude that the analysis made by some people presenting as a positive symbol the fact that all through the text of the European Constitution references to women-men equality are mentioned under the heading "equality between women and men" whereas in the treaty, "equality between men and women" seems, in this context, to be ridiculous.

1) I observe that the first article concerning "non-discrimination" says "any discrimination on grounds of nationality shall be prohibited" (Art I-4). And this prohibition is reiterated a second time, identically, in article II-81, devoted too "non-discrimination."

2) I observe that article II-83 – the only one that concerns "equality between women and men" – comes after the article devoted to "non-discrimination."

I deduce from this that "equality between women and men" is less important and could even be in a sub-heading under the concept of "discrimination."

3) I observe that article II-83 devoted to "non-discrimination" states: Any discrimination based on any ground such as sex …  or sexual orientation shall be prohibited."

I observe that a prohibition is established, but the means established to combat it are not mentioned. I must recall that trials concerning discriminations demand so many prerequisites that they are extremely few in number.

I also must recall that the reference to "sex" does not concern women more than men and that "sexual orientation" does not mean anything7.

4) I read article III-118: "In defining and implementing the policies and activities referred to in this Part, the Union shall aim to combat discrimination based on sex … or sexual orientation."

I observe that the "prohibition" set up in article II-83 loses its meaning and value, since in this article it is now only question of "aim[ing] to combat."
There again, this expression does not imply any commitment.

5) I read article III-124: "Without prejudice to the other provisions of the Constitution and within the limits of the powers assigned by it to the Union, a European law or framework law of the Council may establish the measures needed to combat discrimination based on sex… or sexual orientation."

I observe that the commitments continue to decrease; it is now only question of "the Council may establish the measures." Furthermore, it is explicitly affirmed in this article that, in these cases, "The Council shall act unanimously after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament."
I conclude from this that in addition to all the noted confusions, this project of a treaty – which does not recognize any right to women – cannot logically recognize any basis to the principle of equality between men and women.
I conclude from this that for these reasons, to think – in the limits mentioned – that the fight against discriminations could be a tool that women could use – is merely a delusion.

In any case the principle of equality between men and women is itself a delusion.

I looked for a reference to the fights of women, to their contribution to history, law, politics, peace, to the many feminist battles. I did not read any of these words and I did not find any of these terms.

I deduce from this that article I-47 that affirms: "The institutions shall maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with representative associations and civil society" runs a great risk of excluding feminist associations from the field of the stated "dialogue."

I deduce from this there might no longer be any progress of feminists, of criticism that feminists make of the world, men, and politics and that feminist values are not considered as "values of the Union," and that therefore they would never be part of its future either.

I deduce from this that the future looks very good for masculine domination. And that it did not have much to fear.

I conclude from this that everything that is, for me, politically essential8 does not exist in this text.
Why should I support a Europe that sacrifices women with no compunction?
Worse still – for undoubtedly the great majority of its writers and of its critics – without even being aware of sacrificing them?

II vote "No" on May 29.
Without the slightest hesitation.

Tranlated by Sheila Malovany-Chevallier

Retour en haut de page
Notes de bas de page
1 In an annex on Sisyphe, the text of the treaty can be found in several languages.
2 Addition. June 2006. Today I would give much more importance to the seriousness of the signification of this observation.
3 The term "reconciliation" is a delicate euphemism so as not to have to note that these two "lives" are more and more mutually incompatible.
4 See the article 16-3 of the Declaration of Human Rights: "The family is the natural and fundamental element of society and has a right to the protection of society and the State." In comparison with this 1948 text, the project of the treaty for the European constitution sees the "natural and fundamental" character of the "family" as losing ground as well as the reference to "the society and the state," responsible for protecting it.
5 One of the six "areas where the Union shall have competence to carry out supporting, coordinating or complementary action. " Chapter V of Part III.
6 See Marie-Victoire Louis, "Yes, the European Union legitimates prostitution." Prostitution today. Conference organized by the Fondation Scelles, May 16, 2000. Text reproduced on the site: marievictoirelouis.net.
7 See Marilyn Baldeck, Catherine Le Magueresse, Marie-Victoire Louis, "The Raffarin government bill" on the fight against discriminatory words of a sexist and homophobic nature" is indefensible. September 30, 2004, modified November 26, 2004.
8 In conclusion, I would like to add certain other dimensions to this project – that do not fit into the strict outlines of the fields of this text, among many other, particularly unacceptable, ones:

- The absence of the word: "unemployment" and therefore of "unemployment indemnities";

- the reference to the notion of "prevent[ing] the terrorist threat" (Art.I-43) and "the fight against terrorism," and not defined (Art III-309);

- the colonialist dimension of article III-286, that affirms: "to further the interests and prosperity of the inhabitants of these countries and territories in order to lead them to the economic, social and cultural development to which they aspire" [overseas non-European countries and territories]. (Art. III-286) renamed "countries and territories";  

- the affirmation of a permanently structured cooperation in military matters, in the framework of a project stated of "improvement of military capacity." (Art.1-41 and III-312);

- The right conferred on the Union that "shall enjoy the most extensive legal capacity accorded to legal persons under their laws [in each of the Member States]; it may, in particular, acquire or dispose of movable and immovable property and may be a party to legal proceedings (Art.III-426).  

- The assimilation of status of "public health" and "culture" and "education, youth, sport and professional training" to "industry' and "tourism," in chapter V, devoted to the areas where the "Union shall have competence to carry out supporting, coordinating or complementary action.";

- The declaration: "The Union shall facilitate access to justice (Art.III-257), and besides, this only concerning specifically  "the principle of mutual recognition of judicial and extrajudicial decisions in civil matters."

- The declaration …"any aid granted by a Member State or through State resources in any form whatsoever which distorts or threatens to distort competition by favouring certain undertakings or the production of certain goods shall, insofar as it affects trade between Member States, be incompatible with the internal market (Art.III-167) Plus article III-161.

- The declaration: "The Member States shall endeavour to undertake liberalisation of services …" (Art III-148) that in principle puts an end to the very notion of "public service," with the term itself not being cited. Moreover, this article destroys the analyses of those who consider that the Bolkenstein directive is not part of the project of the Constitution.


Retour en haut de page