WHATEVER YOU think of European integration, there is something inspiring about 20 million people who, having been told what to do by their most respected politicians and after listening attentively, then do the exact opposite. This week’s referendums in France and the Netherlands are probably the most significant event in European history since the end of the Cold War. As in Germany after its citizens found that they could smash symbolic chunks out of the Berlin Wall with impunity, everyday life in Europe may go on as before, but nothing will ever be quite the same. But don’t expect to hear much serious debate about the significance of this popular revolt against “the idea of Europe” for many months. For years politicians have made Europe a pretext for imposing unpopular policies — cuts in pensions or higher taxes — which they were too cowardly to justify in their own right. But they always promised that giving up sovereignty to Europe would somehow stave off economic reality and make their citizens better off. After falling for such false promises for decades, voters have finally turned against both Europe and their national leaders. From now on, Europe will be judged not by rhetoric, but by results. For this, we all owe a debt of gratitude to the voters of France and the Netherlands.