- Convention of the Future of Europe, working on the Draft Constitution (Photo: European Convention)
The Convention on the Future of Europe has produced an EU Constitution to replace the existing EU and EC treaties. The text was agreed upon by 'consensus' in the Convention June 13 2003. No voting took place.
It was presented by Giscard d´Estaing to the heads of governments and states at the Thessaloniki Summit (Greece) on 20th June 2003 - with a minority report from the eurosceptic intergroup, Democracy Forum, attached.
The Constitutional Treaty is divided into four parts:
- Part I: Objectives, values, institutions, competences finances, etc. of the Union.
- Part II: Charter of Fundamental Rights
- Part III: Assembles and amends the present EU and EC Treaties.
- Part IV: Final provisions
At present, a country can only leave the EU after a unanimous decision (or by breaching EU law). The EU Constitution has a clause allowing Member States to leave after negotiating an agreement with the EU or on their own accord after two years.
- The word constitution is used 27 times in the first 17 articles of the EU Constitution.
The futureThe Intergovernmental Conference has negotiated on this EU Constitution since October 2003. On 18 June 2004 all the Member States and acceding countries signed this constitution, it has to be ratified through the national parliaments or through referenda. It was finally rejected by the French and Dutch voters and changed to the Lisbon Treaty.
The readerfriendly version can be downloaded at: http://www.euabc.com/upload/rfConstitution_en.pdf
The Minority Report: http://www.eddgroup.com/index.phtml?sid=114&aid=11816