Statewatch: Annotated text of EU Constitution

For updates please see: Statewatch's Observatory on EU Constitution

A unique series of annotated texts of the proposed EU Constitution have been prepared for Statewatch by Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex. Each of the text is annotated to compare the current Treaties, practice and case law to the proposed Constitution - and in the case of decision-making the present division of powers to those proposed (including new powers).

1. EU Constitution - Decision-making (pdf)

2. EU Constitutional annotation no 1: Part I, Draft EU Constitution (pdf)

3. EU Constitutional annotation no 2: Part III, Title V: EU External policies (pdf)

4. EU Constitutional annotation no 3: Part III, Title VI, Chapter I, Section 1, Subsection 5: Court of Justice (pdf)

5. EU Constitutional annotation no 4: Part III, Title IV, Chapter III: Justice and Home Affairs (pdf)

(These analyses are © Statewatch/Steve Peers and of course may be further used/linked to if proper acknowledgement is given)

The proposed EU Constitution is set out in CONV 850/03 (the detailed rules in Part III will supplement the basic rules in Part I):

6.  Full-text of proposed EU Constitution: CONV 850/03 (pdf)
7.  Full-text of proposed EU Constitution: Draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe (Word format)
8.  Full-text from the Official Journal, 105 pages: Text (link)
9.  Commission position on proposed EU Constitution (17.9.03): Commission (pdf)
10. The new IGC website is on: IGC

Background note

The EU constitutional Convention was convened in February 2002 and met until July 2003 under the chairmanship of former French President Valery Giscard D'Estaing. It consisted of delegates from national parliaments, the European Parliament, the Commission and EU Member States' governments, including the parliaments and governments of states which have applied to join the EU. Following on from a declaration to the Treaty of Nice and a later declaration agreed by the European Council (summit meeting) in Laeken in December 2001, the Convention had the task of examining the current EU and EC Treaties and suggesting possible changes. It decided to draft an EU Constitution merging the current EU and EC Treaties, based on the existing texts but making a number of important changes.

However, the work of the Convention is not binding. A binding text to amend the existing Treaties will be drawn up by Member States' governements (including the governments of the 10 countries who have signed an Accession Treaty to join the EU in 2004), in an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC). This IGC is scheduled to begin in October 2003 and end at the latest in May or June 2004. At the last EU summit meeting (in Thessaloniki, June 2003), it was agreed that the draft Constitution produced by the Convention would be a "good starting point" for the negotiations in the IGC. If the IGC concludes as planned, the final Constitution will have to be approved by national parliaments and national referenda, and so would likley not enter into force until well into 2006.

For updates please see: Statewatch's Observatory on EU Constitution

Civil society critiques

a) The EU Constitution and Justice and Home Affairs: the accountability gap, by Steve Peers

b) Critique of previous draft: Joint suggested amendments to draft constitutional articles on justice and home affairs by the Standing Committee of experts on international immigration, refugee and criminal law (Utrecht, Netherlands) and Statewatch (London, UK): Standing Committee and Statewatch

c) Analysis by Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, of proposals being discussed by the Convention on the Future of Europe will lead to the creation of an EU Interior Ministry - the maintenance of law and order, internal security and external borders: Analysis (pdf, now with live links)

d) Joint suggested amendments to the draft constitutional articles on democratic life by Statewatch and the Standing Committee of experts in international immigration, refugee and criminal law (Utrecht): Joint submission (pdf) Draft from the Convention on: Democratic life

e) (November 2002) Four leading NGOs submit report to the Convention on the future of the EU calling for effective and transparent judicial, parliamentary and public scrutiny and human rights protections to be put in place to safeguard freedoms and liberties: Press release & report

f) 1 October 2003: IGC Launch: European NGOs Publish Concerns Over Justice and Home Affairs and Fundamental Rights Provisions in Draft Constitution: Press release and submission

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© Statewatch ISSN 1756-851X.Material may be used providing the source is acknowledged. Statewatch does not have a corporate view, nor does it seek to create one, the views expressed are those of the author. Statewatch is not responsible for the content of external websites and inclusion of a link does not constitute an endorsement.