IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Neither Constitution, Nor Treaty

Listed author(s):
  • Agustín José Menéndez
Registered author(s):

    The Constitutional Treaty of the European Union cannot be said to be a Constitution in the same sense that the term is generally used in most European countries. It is not a Constitution in the same sense that the German, Italian or Czech constitutions. This is mainly so because neither the procedure through which it was elaborated, not itscontents, comply with what deliberative democracy requires and expects from a constitution-making process and its outcome. On the one hand, the European people or peoples played almost no role in the signalling of the constitutional moment. The Laeken Convention did not have much of a relationship with European general publics, and it could only marginally exceed its own mandate of preparing the ground of the labours of the IGC. The IGC remained a secretive and diplomatic event, almost completely divorced from European publics. On the other hand, the Constitutional Treaty is unlikely to ensure the full democratic character of European Union laws. By means of assigning constitutional status to all the four parts of the Constitution, the Convention and the IGC give rise to a serious risk of over-constitutionalisation, which would result in a closing of the political space open to European and national legislatures. Moreover, the Constitutional Treaty only marginally improves the position of the European Parliament in the law-making process. Moreover, the Constitution consolidates and amplifies the unbalance which prevails between the simplified lawmaking procedures on issues related to the actual construction of a single market, and the extremely demanding procedures, with multiple veto points, which apply to marketcorrectingmeasures. This is amplified by the reinforced protection which the Draft Treaty offers to economic liberties, and values associated to them (such as price stability). All this entails that the Constitutional Treaty is not the democratic constitution of the European Union, and it cannot be considered on a par with nationalconstitutions. Having said that, the Constitutional Treaty is a further and major step in the process of European integration. By consolidating the primary law of the Union, by its modest but relevant substantive reforms, the Constitutional Treaty prepares theground of a future democratic constitution-making process.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by ARENA in its series ARENA Working Papers with number 8.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 12 Feb 2005
    Handle: RePEc:erp:arenax:p0008
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:erp:arenax:p0008. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sindre Eikrem Hervig)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.