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Tuesday, 29 October, 2002, 14:08 GMT
Excerpts: EU draft 'constitution'
Valery Giscard d'Estaing unveiling the preliminary draft in Brussels
Giscard d'Estaing: The draft prejudges nothing
A draft constitutional treaty prepared by the Convention on the Future of Europe, headed by former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing, has come under fire from both eurosceptics and euro-federalists.

Convention representatives

National governments and parliaments
European Commission
European parliament
13 candidate countries
Non-governmental organisations and academia
It is just a skeleton text, which will be fleshed out as the convention continues its work, before publishing a final proposal next year.

In its present form it avoids committing itself on some of the most controversial issues, such as whether there should be a new President of the Council of EU member states.

"The inclusion (or non-inclusion)... of some articles, and the exact content of others, will depend on the Convention's proceedings," says a paragraph at the top of the text.

"Their treatment in this text is in no way intended to prejudge the result of the Convention's debates."

The following are excerpts from the draft:

Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe

I: Definition and objectives of the Union

Article 1: Decision to establish [an entity called the European Community, European Union, United States of Europe, United Europe]

A Union of European States which, while retaining their national identities, closely co-ordinate their policies at the European level, and administer certain common competences on a federal basis...

Article 2: This article sets out the values of the Union: human dignity, fundamental rights, democracy, the rule of law, tolerance, respect for obligations and for international law.

Article 3: Objectives of the Union. This article establishes the general objectives, such as:

  • protection of the common values, interests and independence of the Union
  • promotion of economic and social cohesion
  • strengthening of the internal market, and of economic and monetary union
  • promotion of a high level of employment and a high degree of social protection
  • a high level of environmental protection
  • encouragement for technological and scientific progress
  • creation of an area of liberty, security and justice
  • development of a common foreign and security policy, and a common defence policy, to defend and promote the Union's values in the wider world

...

II: Union citizenships and fundamental rights

Article 5: This article establishes and defines Union citizenship: every citizen of a Member State is a citizen of the Union; enjoys dual citizenship, national citizenship and European citizenship; and is free to use either, as he or she chooses; with the rights and duties attaching to each.

...

III: Union competence and actions

Article 8: This article establishes the principle that any competence not conferred on the Union by the Constitution rests with the Member States...

It would set out the rules for effective monitoring of subsidiarity and proportionality. The role of National Parliaments in this respect would be mentioned.

...

IV: Union institutions

Article 15 bis: When the Convention has discussed it, this article could establish the term of office and appointment procedure for the Presidency of the European Council, its role and responsibilities...

Article 19: This article would raise the possibility of establishing a Congress of the Peoples of Europe, determine its composition and the procedure for appointing its members, and define its powers...

...

VIII: Union action in the world

Article 41: This provision should set out who represents the Union in international relations, taking account of competences already exercised by the Community.

In the light of the Convention's future work, it would define the role and future rank of the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy.

...

X: Union membership

Article 43: This article establishes the principle that the Union is open to all European States which share its values and wish to pursue them jointly, which strictly respect fundamental rights, and which accept the Union's rules of operation.

...

Article 46: This article would mention the possibility of establishing a procedure for voluntary withdrawal from the Union by decision of a Member State, and the institutional consequences of such withdrawal.

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Valery Giscard d'Estaing, former French President
"We could choose the name suggested at the beginning of Europe"

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26 Feb 02 | Europe
25 Oct 02 | Europe
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