On Thursday at Georgetown University, Valery Giscard d'Estaing called for a "Partnership of Values" in the Transatlantic Relationship. I honestly think we have that already -- what we don't have all the time is a partnership of the practice of those values. No one has a problem agreeing that we all support human rights, freedom of speech, ...it's about HOW we do it that causes disagreements. Empty platitudes sound good but unfortunately do nothing.
Giscard d'Estaing also reiterated his reasoning behind his stance against referenda for ratifying the European Constitution. While his argumentation is sound -- referenda are glorified plebecites on the political mood of the day -- it does little to solve the public relations dilemma of bringing a document -- old or cherry-picked -- to the French and Dutch parliaments while bypassing direct public input. The image this creates is that European elites didn't like what "the people" had to say, and so they will know to go around them in the future. Good luck, Margot Walstrom.
The ex-president also explained that it would be more difficult for Segolene Royal (rather than Sarkozy) to push the Constitution forward, because of the divisions in her own party. The rumor of the Sarkozy-Merkel pact to bring back the Constitution remains.