The European Constitution in France. 

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The European Constitution which is the Treaty instituting an European Constitution brings big political progresses. 

The text includes 450 articles, four parts, protocols and declarations concerning particular situations. 

The part 3, which is disputed by those which want to vote "no" with  the French referendum and which makes say that the constitution, which  is, I say it again, a treaty, is the resumption of the former treaties. 

Thus, if the referendum is negative, part 3 (for its bigger part) will continue to be in force and France will stop the enforcement of the text which will be adopted, probably, in the 24 other Members States of the European Union. Moreover, some Members States have already passed the constitution. 

It would be necessary to wait at least 10 years then to get a text with the same progresses because the renegotiation of the treaty will not be possible. Indeed the disputed questions have links with domestic politic and the former treaties. Obviously, it is impossible to grant to France an exemption for what already in force. 

The main progresses are: 

- the integration of the Charter of the Fundamental Rights in the text.  This charter creates new Humans Rights with those already in force with the European Convention of Humans Rights and by the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Communities.  Indeed, some articles could led to the abrogation or the reformation of some laws or decisions in France

- the possibility of direct legislative initiative (like in Switzerland). One million people representing some Member States will be able to submit to the European Commission a legislative proposal that the Commission will be able or not to propose to the vote of the Council of Ministers and of the European Parliament. For the practice, the European Commission will be obliged to do it and the representatives of the nations will be obliged to pass it even by reforming it, except questions which would violate fundamental principles (to avoid abuse concerning direct  democracy)

- to integrate in all the new decisions the problems of Human Rights, health, consumersí protection and employment

- the control of national parliaments on the policies of the Union, particularly the respect of the missions of the Union which should not act in the field of national policies (principle of subsidiarity)

- the abrogation of the three different political sectors.  Before the Community, i.e. economic and social policies passed with qualified majority (a majority allowing the small Members States to be able to donít pass a rules, and the big Members States to donít be able to pass a rules alone) whereas the policy concerning justice (visa and police) and the European policy of common security (military and humanitarians questions) was passed with unanimity.  For the policy of justice and interior affair all the rules will passed with qualified majority what will improve the European security with faster decisions

- the abrogation of the High Representative of the Union for the Foreign Affair and the creation of a Foreign Minister of the Union who will be able to represent the Union only when all the States will agree a joint position (not the case concerning the war in Iraq) He will be able to propose decisions which would be passed with the qualified majority.  Nevertheless Members State could not agree with a political decision engaging Europe

- the nomination (not the election, at least not yet) of a president of the European Union for two years and half with a renewable mandate.  Itís the abrogation of the rotation of the presidency six months for each Members States and will give a visibility to the Union.  The president of the European Commission thus will lose visibility

Tax or social harmonization will be not concerned by the Constitution by now. The Constitution will improve mainly the institutional system of Europe enabling it to work with a larger number of Members States. 

The question concerning Turkey is not the subject of the referendum.  The new French constitution provides that all new adhesions (except Romania and Bulgaria on 2007, and perhaps Croatia) will be passed after referendum in France. The French citizens will be able to prevent the adhesion of a State as they will be able to prevent the ratification of a treaty since all will be passed after a referendum. 

The Bolkenstein directive concerning freedom circulation of services, freedom already integrated in the treaties, written by the former commission under the treaties currently in force, will not be passed by now, the project isnít completed and have no link with Constitution.   


This page last updated on May 10th, 2005.
Copyright Laurent D. FAURE and NEUROMEDIA 2005.