Efraim Karsh in The New Republic:

EuBut in truth, France’s vote against the constitution is an important victory for European unity, because the document posed a serious threat to the great European experiment in peace and prosperity. What began 53 years ago as an idealistic attempt to use economic cooperation to heal a war-torn continent has deteriorated with the passage of time into a gigantic imperial machinery that has largely eroded the democratic values and objectives for which it was originally established.

As the European Coal and Steel Community evolved (in 1957) to the European Economic Community and then (in the mid-1980s) to the European Union, and as its membership expanded from the original six to a staggering 25, the organization’s vision of a confederation of states collaborating on an equal footing was increasingly replaced by the reality of an empire in the making–a consensual empire, yes, but an empire all the same, one in which a metropolitan center run by a new kind of bureaucratic political elite is responsible for more and more European decision-making and increasingly determined to remove control of lawmaking from member state governments.

More here.