- Convention of the Future of Europe, working on the EU Constitution (Photo: European Convention)
The Convention on the Future of Europe drafted an EU Constitution to replace the existing EU and EC treaties. The text was agreed by 'consensus' in the Convention on June 13 2003. No voting took place.
It was presented by Giscard d´Estaing to the heads of governments and states at the Thessaloniki Summit (Greece) on 20 June 2003 - with a minority report from the eurocritical intergroup, Democracy Forum, attached. I
The official name was "The Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe".
The Constitutional Treaty was divided into four parts:
- Part I: Objectives, values, institutions, competences, finances, etc. of the Union.
- Part II: Charter of Fundamental Rights
- Part III: Assembles and amends the present EU and EC Treaties.
- Part IV: Final provisions
At present, a country can only leave the EU according to international law or/and after a unanimous decision, or by breaching EU law. The proposed EU Constitution and the Lisbon Treaty has a clause allowing member states to leave after negotiating an agreement with the EU or on their own accord after two years.
The word "Constitution" was used 23 times in the first 17 Articles of the draft EU Constitution and it appeared in most of the subsequent Articles of the 500 plus pages of the original EU Constitution.
As the text was rejected by Dutch and French referendums in May/June 2005, a new Intergovernmental conference was given a mandate for drafting a new treaty in June 2007. On the occasion of the European Council meeting in Lisbon on 13 December 2007, European leaders agreed upon the Lisbon Treaty, amending the two basic European treaties, the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty Establishing the European Community.
These two amended treaties are now the Constitution of the EU.
The "Reader-Friendly version of the European Treaties" as they would be if amended by the Lisbon Treaty may be downloaded at: http://euabc.com/upload/rfConstitution_en.pdf