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The President of the European Parliament Josep Borrell Fontelles, the President of the European Council Jean-Claude Juncker, and the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso issued on Sunday 29 May 2005 the following declaration following the results of the referendum in France on the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe:
"The French electorate has today Sunday 29 May chosen to say no to the ratification of the Constitutional Treaty. We take note of this act.
We regret this choice, which comes from a Member State that for fifty years has been an essential driving force in the construction of our common future.
We fully respect this expression of the popular vote, which comes as a result of an intense debate. The result of the French referendum deserves a profound analysis, first and foremost by the French authorities. They need to be allowed sufficient time for this analysis. For their part, the European institutions will also have to consider, in due time, the results of all ratification processes.
Let us recall that nine Member States, representing almost one half (49%) of the EU population, have already ratified the Constitutional Treaty, including in one case through a largely positive popular vote, and that the majority of Member States have not yet had the opportunity to complete the ratification process.
Furthermore, the substance of the debate in France and the result of the referendum reinforce our conviction that national and European political leaders will need to do more to explain the real issues at stake and the type of solutions that only Europe can offer. We continue to believe that responses at the European level remain the best and most efficient means of action in the context of an ever-faster globalisation.
We have to ask ourselves questions about the role of each and every one of us – national government, European institutions, political parties, social partners, civil society – in an effort to contribute to a better understanding of this project, whose legitimacy rests on the need to listen to the citizens.
The European construction is complex by its very nature. Europe has already known difficult moments in the past and has each time succeeded in coming out stronger and better than before, ready to take on its challenges and responsibilities. Today, Europe carries on and the institutions function fully. We are aware of the difficulties but we are confident that we will again find the means to move forward the European Union. Together we are determined to make our contribution."
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