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Europe under Reconstruction - A Study on the Idea of a Constitution for the European Union

Dahlström, Anna (2003)
Department of Law
Abstract
The European project has, since its birth in the 1950´s, transformed into a supranational organization with strong constitutional features. The current legal order of the Union has developed into a complex system that is hard to comprehend. Together with the enlargement eastwards, the need for a simplified European Treaty has been intensified. Today, the debate about a European constitution is a topic that nobody can avoid. The European Convention, which was established in Laeken 2001, is assigned to present a draft to a Constitutional Treaty that will serve as a basis for the IGC in 2004. On 28 of October 2002, the Convention put forward the first draft Treaty. A final and revised version will be introduced in June 2003. Hereby, the Union... (More)
The European project has, since its birth in the 1950´s, transformed into a supranational organization with strong constitutional features. The current legal order of the Union has developed into a complex system that is hard to comprehend. Together with the enlargement eastwards, the need for a simplified European Treaty has been intensified. Today, the debate about a European constitution is a topic that nobody can avoid. The European Convention, which was established in Laeken 2001, is assigned to present a draft to a Constitutional Treaty that will serve as a basis for the IGC in 2004. On 28 of October 2002, the Convention put forward the first draft Treaty. A final and revised version will be introduced in June 2003. Hereby, the Union is standing before an almost inevitable constitutional choice. The purpose with this thesis is to examine the notion of a constitution for the EU. I will explore the motives for a constitution and the possible reservations towards one. Since the protection of fundamental rights in the EU has a significant role in the constitutional debate, I will also examine the system of protection in the Union and the ways to strengthen it. In order to create a better understanding for the distinctive character of the EU, I will make a comparison with the US federal model of governance. The thesis is divided in three main chapters. Chapter two focuses on the constitutional transformation of the European governance and the main constitutional features in the Union's legal order. As an introduction to this chapter, the term constitution and constitutionalism as well as the nature of the Union will be clarified. Chapter three briefly describes the constitutional debate that preceded the adoption of the US Constitution in 1787. Here, I will also outline the US Constitution including the Bill of Rights and examine the legal power of the US Supreme Court. Finally, chapter four will analyze the issue of a constitution for Europe and the ways to strengthen the protection of human rights in the EU. The definition of constitutions and constitutionalism is strongly linked with the understanding of nation states. Since the EU is not a state, rather a unique organization, it is important to see the Union on its own merits. Generally, is a constitution for Europe, as a clear and simplified document, a necessity in an enlarged Europe. A constitution would make the EU's framework more visible and could thereby also improve the citizens' interest and support for the cooperation. The current system of protection of fundamental rights in the EU is not sufficient and needs to be strengthened of similar reasons as a constitution. Just like the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights is a symbol for common values that enjoy a strong support in the American society, a simplified document for the EU with a binding catalogue of rights could serve the same purpose. An improvement of the democratic legitimacy in the Union might be a precondition for that a further enhanced cooperation shall be successful. (Less)
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author
Dahlström, Anna
supervisor
organization
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
EG-rätt
language
English
id
1556862
date added to LUP
2010-03-08 15:55:20
date last changed
2010-03-08 15:55:20
@misc{1556862,
  abstract     = {The European project has, since its birth in the 1950´s, transformed into a supranational organization with strong constitutional features. The current legal order of the Union has developed into a complex system that is hard to comprehend. Together with the enlargement eastwards, the need for a simplified European Treaty has been intensified. Today, the debate about a European constitution is a topic that nobody can avoid. The European Convention, which was established in Laeken 2001, is assigned to present a draft to a Constitutional Treaty that will serve as a basis for the IGC in 2004. On 28 of October 2002, the Convention put forward the first draft Treaty. A final and revised version will be introduced in June 2003. Hereby, the Union is standing before an almost inevitable constitutional choice. The purpose with this thesis is to examine the notion of a constitution for the EU. I will explore the motives for a constitution and the possible reservations towards one. Since the protection of fundamental rights in the EU has a significant role in the constitutional debate, I will also examine the system of protection in the Union and the ways to strengthen it. In order to create a better understanding for the distinctive character of the EU, I will make a comparison with the US federal model of governance. The thesis is divided in three main chapters. Chapter two focuses on the constitutional transformation of the European governance and the main constitutional features in the Union's legal order. As an introduction to this chapter, the term constitution and constitutionalism as well as the nature of the Union will be clarified. Chapter three briefly describes the constitutional debate that preceded the adoption of the US Constitution in 1787. Here, I will also outline the US Constitution including the Bill of Rights and examine the legal power of the US Supreme Court. Finally, chapter four will analyze the issue of a constitution for Europe and the ways to strengthen the protection of human rights in the EU. The definition of constitutions and constitutionalism is strongly linked with the understanding of nation states. Since the EU is not a state, rather a unique organization, it is important to see the Union on its own merits. Generally, is a constitution for Europe, as a clear and simplified document, a necessity in an enlarged Europe. A constitution would make the EU's framework more visible and could thereby also improve the citizens' interest and support for the cooperation. The current system of protection of fundamental rights in the EU is not sufficient and needs to be strengthened of similar reasons as a constitution. Just like the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights is a symbol for common values that enjoy a strong support in the American society, a simplified document for the EU with a binding catalogue of rights could serve the same purpose. An improvement of the democratic legitimacy in the Union might be a precondition for that a further enhanced cooperation shall be successful.},
  author       = {Dahlström, Anna},
  keyword      = {EG-rätt},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Europe under Reconstruction - A Study on the Idea of a Constitution for the European Union},
  year         = {2003},
}