The French (and the Dutch) rejection of the European Constitutional Treaty in the spring of 2005 led to stop the European integration project on a global scale. For the first time, two countries, which founded the European Coal and Steel Community, the European Economic Community, with the euro as a common currency, decided the EU was not following the direction they wished. The French rejection of the ECT referendum had a huge impact in national politics and still is relevant nowadays to explain political and ideological cleavages. Nevertheless, one big region voted yes in the French referendum. Brittany indeed voted for, (although by a tiny majority 50.3%) the European Constitutional while a strong majority of French voters (54.7%) rejected it. Brittany was one (as we can see on the map just below) the few French regions which approved the European Constitutional Treaty of 2005. Therefore, how to explain it? This essay will try to answer to this research question however; several interpretations and hypothesis should be highlighted.
Before exploring the main hypotheses, it might be convenient to go back to a preliminary question; what studying the case of Brittany and not others regions like Alsace or the City of Paris? On several levels, this French region is unique. At the end of the Second World War this region was compared to the rest of the country underdeveloped. Now it is the fifth region in terms of Gross Domestic Product, a strong leader in the car, telecom and in the agro-food industries. Also, this region always tried to maintain and to promote its values, culture, language (however, the Gaelic language is in danger according to the UNESCO) and traditions.
[...] But if in 2005 almost a third of Bretons imagined the next twelve months with a better economic climate, they were only six percent in 2012 (other results for economic and social conditions were on the average of other regions in France or in Europe). Sadly, I did not find any figures on the trust or the public support of the EU for Bretons in 2005 but in 2012, the trust of the EU for Bretons was also in the average of other regions. Indeed mistrusted the EU in 2012 and 47% trusted it. H2 - Did the behaviour of political, economic and cultural elites of the region helped the outcome? [...]
[...] Indeed, if we look at national results and the rise of the rejection of both Maastricht and the European Constitution (Perrineau page 236), there is no specificity of the region. The evolved on the same trends as other regions. If we are following that idea, the main explanation of Brittany's approval of the ECT relied one mostly because the exceptional endorsement of the Maastricht Treaty in 1994 was higher than other regions. Because, Brittany's economy in 2005 was in good shape if we look at the facts & figures France-wide, that is undeniable, but economic climate in the region was not that optimist. [...]
[...] But more importantly, almost every important political leader in Brittany played Europe card”. Already in the 1950s the CELIB (Committee of Studies and Liaisons of Bretons Interests) actively promoted the modernisation of the region using European policies, mostly by the common agricultural policy and the common fisheries policy. This CELIB regrouped industrials, farmers' cooperatives executives, political leaders (from the centre left to the centre right), union leaders (mostly the CFDT) or well-known figures of the Bretons civil society (researchers, journalists, private school directors, teachers etc.) and they defended that in very corporatist way that the European project is a tool for the modernisation of the region as well an “emancipation” from a government and its administration. [...]
[...] How to define regional identity? In the French context, regional identity carries by some territories (Alsace, Corse, Basque country and of course Brittany) is how to promote, how to showcase by any means possible (culturally, politically, economically, symbolically or by public policies from local and regional authorities) the identity and particularities of a defined territory. Uncannily, the better structured regional identities are also endorsed by grassroots movements, a relatively high public support and by dense and organised networks of associations, interest groups, or political movements. [...]
[...] Secondly, average incomes in Brittany are also, traditionally lower than national averages. For instance in 2013, while median income in the region was in 2013 of 18.969 the national median income was higher ( 19.218 in France. In other words, Brittany is less unequal for the reason that wealthiest households or families are less rich than others and the poorest are less poor. So sociologically, the fact that this region is has a very good employment rate and a difference between highest and lowest incomes can explain the rise of the No. [...]
avec notre liseuse dédiée !
Pimido.com utilise des cookies sur son site. En poursuivant votre navigation sur Pimido.com ou en cliquant sur OK, vous en acceptez l'utilisation. Politique de Confidentialité