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2006 | 9 | 80-98

Article title

Myths of the European Constitution


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A successive stage in the coming into being of European legal order is connected with the transfer of competences previously reserved by nation states. Establishing laws whose subject is all the citizens of the member nations, adjudicating court disputes in the final instance, a common currency at last, all contribute to the coming into being of an order which might be called a constitutional one. Unfortunately, so far, discussion of the draft for a European constitution has not moved on to the philosophical level. Many elements such as the institutional separation of powers, extending the area of decisions made by the majority and the like, demonstrate that the project is a step in the direction of a European federation with single public sphere, system of representation and homogeneous, hierarchical system of authority within which the states become subordinate to decisions made by the Union and retain autonomy only within a specified extent. There does, however, exist a different vision, a community of communities within which Europe would be an area of agreed upon solutions. The public sphere would remain primarily reflected in the national parliaments and the Union institutions would solve problems signalled jointly by the member states. The draft Constitutional Treaty does not bring about revolutionary change to the legal order; the gradual evolution pursues toward the federal model. However, the community model has not been finally discarded. Thus the document is inconsistent. In it, two myths compete; the European Federation and European unity in diversity. Thanks to the rejection of the document, we may reflect on a common political future rather than once again explain something which became fact in haste.


  • A. Nogal, Instytut StudiĆ³w Politycznych PAN, ul. Polna 18/ 20, 00- 625 Warszawa, Poland


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Publication order reference


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