Between Zollverein and Patrie: The French National Front, the “New” April 21 and the Rejection of the European Constitution
On May 29, 2005, French citizens voted to reject the proposed Constitutional Treaty for Europe. The empirical center of this article is the French National Front’s post-referendum claiming of the “No” vote as it looked forward to the 2007 French Presidential elections. April 21, 2002, the date that Jean Marie Le Pen came in second in the first round of the Presidential elections, emerged in the pre and post referendum period as an iconic event, a form of history as political metaphor, that all sides deployed to structure arguments about the future of France and the future of Europe. This article first explores the pre and post referendum discussion of the constitution; second, turns to the French and European context to situate the vote; and third, explores the landscape of political possibilities that the vote and its aftermath presented.
Part One of the Constitution Trilogy
Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies
France; Constitutional Treaty; Le Pen; National Front; European Union