Statement made by Mr. Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic, following the French referendum on the European Constitutional Treaty
“My dear compatriots in metropolitan and overseas France and abroad,
France has democratically expressed herself. You have rejected the European Constitution by a majority. It is your sovereign decision. I take note of it.
Nevertheless, our interests and ambitions are profoundly linked to Europe.
France, a founder member of the EU, naturally remains within the EU.
I want to tell you, tell our European partners and all Europe’s peoples that France will continue to play her full role in it, honouring her commitments. I shall ensure this.
Ratification processes are under way all over the EU. Nine countries have already said "yes". Our other partners will in turn make their choice.
Between now and then, the European Union is going to continue operating on the basis of the current treaties.
We have some important tasks ahead of us. On 16 June, the European Council will meet in Brussels. I shall defend our country’s positions there, taking account of the message from the men and women of France.
But let us make no mistake: France’s decision inevitably creates a difficult context for defending our interests in Europe. We shall have to respond to this by uniting around one imperative: the national interest.
My dear compatriots,
During this debate, you also expressed your worries and your expectations. I intend to respond to them by giving a new, strong impetus to government action.
In the next few days, I shall inform you of my decisions on the government and its priorities./.”