What we have feared for weeks has happened: the majority of French and Dutch citizens have voted against the adoption of the Constitution of the European Union. Our Society accepts the result of the two referenda bitterly.
The reasons for the "no" victory are of course manifold. In our opinion, the campaigns did not put enough emphasis on the innovations of the Constitution, the reform of the European decision-making process, the future of the united Europe and especially on the fact that the enlarged European Union has created new political chances and economic opportunities for its member states. The voters could not be persuaded that the Constitution has been shaped in the European Convention in a more democratic way than any basic European document had been adopted before; through the contribution of members of national parliaments and the European Parliament. The defeat of the "yes" side can be explained - among many other factors - by the communication gap between the mostly Europe-friendly elites and the social strata feeling mistrust in them. It is worth drawing the first lesson at this point!
Naturally, the self-confidence of devotees of the common European idea has been weakened. We believe that the questions would have arisen in a European perspective for the French and the Dutch people as well, had every citizen of the European Union been able to decide about the Constitution on a Europe-wide level at the same point in time. We suggest to the European Heads of State and Government, and above all to the Hungarian Prime Minister, that they begin talks about an all-European referendum according to the principle of the double majority, detailed in Article I-25 of the Constitution.
In order to regain our confidence and to help the adoption of the Constitution, the Hungarian Europe Society is starting to collect signatures, following the spirit of Article I-47 Paragraph (4) of the Constitution. We are looking forward to those joining us who agree with the plan of a Europe-wide referendum and with our slogan: Europe Needs Its Own Constitution!
In order to successfully carry out this symbolic action, we are going to co-operate with political groups and non-governmental organisations all around in Europe representing the idea of a united Europe and supporting the mission of the Constitution.
Budapest, 8 June 2005
* The declaration does not necessarily reflect the opinion of all members of the Hungarian Europe Society.
** The original version of the declaration included the following text: "at the Brussels summit on the 16-17 June 2005".