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Does the european union need a constitution - Essay Example

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The history of attempts for giving Europe a constitution is long and encompasses some famous names including Winston Churchill who presented his vision of the United States of Europe in 1946 in Zurich. From 1952 up to the present, the European Union (EU) has made its presence felt especially regarding trade and commerce…
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Download file to see previous pages However, the bigger picture is, will it be integrative of them as one whole body A constitution must serve the best interests not just one or a few member states. Devanny (2004) says the debate about whether the EU should adopt a constitution has been protracted and controversial. It is both a practical debate (Does the EU need a constitution) and a more abstract debate (Is the EU the kind of entity/organisation that should adopt a constitution).
According to Murkens (2002), the European Union leaders at the Laeken summit in December 2001 had agreed to a constitutional convention headed by the former French President Valry Giscard D'Estaing to craft an EU constitution. And yet, the European Court of Justice (ECJ), the German Federal Constitutional Court, and academic commentators say the founding treaties already form a constitution. From Murkens (2002) -
"In its famous decision in Van Gend en Loos in 1963 the ECJ held that the Treaty of Rome had created a Community not only of governments but of peoples, and that the Member States had agreed to limit their sovereign rights in certain fields. A year later the ECJ established the doctrine of supremacy of Community law in Costa v. ENEL which was basically accepted by national constitutional courts. These decisions heralded the 'creeping constitutionalisation' of Community law. The novelty of the ECJ's approach was that it did not try to squeeze the Treaty into the constitutional mould of the Verfassungsstaat. More important than the 'formal constitution' was the interpretation of the Treaty by the ECJ as the 'material constitution' (Petersmann 1991: 28), whose basic tenets include the doctrines of direct effect, supremacy, and implied powers, as well as respect for human rights."
The arguments for and against an EU constitution rest on complicated issues of law, sovereignty, political philosophy and the efficiency and effectiveness of the EU's institutions and procedures (Murkens 2002).
At the June 2004 European Council meeting, governments of the 25 EU member states signed a constitutional treaty for the European Union (Closa 2004). Intended to include voices not usually heard in the European integration process, this treaty was drafted by a "Convention on the Future of Europe." From there, member state governments negotiated on the draft that eventually produced a treaty (Ibid).
But the process is far from over. It has just entered its final and perhaps most difficult phase. According to Closa (2004), the text must be ratified unanimously by the member states, each according to its own national process, but there are uncertainties that may spell disaster for the future of European integration (Ibid).
II. From treaties to Constitution
A timeline (History, Wikipedia 2005) shows the development of seven treaties into EU constitution from 1952 to 2003 to include - 1952: Treaty of Paris, 1958: Treaties of Rome, 1967: Merger Treaty, 1987: Single European Act, 1993: Treaty of Maastricht, 1999: Treaty of Amsterdam, and 2003: Treaty of Nice. The European Constitution is being hoped to be enacted in the soonest future.
The three pillars are: 1) the European Communities (the European Coal and Steel Community or ECSC which came about in 1952; the European Community or EC which came around in 1958; the European Atomic ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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