Quick Guide: European Union constitution
Printable version
Europe's rule book


Foreign and defence policy

More key features

Political arguments



The constitution takes several steps designed to reduce the risk of gridlock in the enlarged EU of 25 states.

It lowers the size of the majority needed for most decisions in the Council, and cuts the number of areas where a unanimous vote is required.

It creates a full-time president of the Council, who may give more continuity than the existing rotating presidency.

And it streamlines the European Commission, cutting one third of its members from 2014 onwards.