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A Constitution of the European Union: Basic treaty

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Prepared in collaboration with the EPC ( and the Collège européen Miguel Servet. Drafting a Constitution is no picnic. Candidates embarking on such an experiment must know that it is more like an ocean cruise. Long, requiring an awful lot of preparation, and sometimes fraught with nasty surprises. Meanwhile, the decor may sometimes seem monotonous and limited. Nevertheless, the Convention on the future of Europe is set to draft a “Constitution of the European Union”. Progressively this ambition has been endorsed by various people. It is thus necessary to reflect now in depth on the impacts of such a project. This draft has been realised by Franklin Dehousse and Wouter Coussens of the Royal Institute of International Relations, with the support of the EPC and of the Collège Européen Miguel Servet. We thank the numerous persons in these institutions (and others) who have helped us with their comments. The text remains of course our responsibility. It also remains a draft, not cast in stone. It aims at illuminating the debate around the European Constitution, and at stimulating discussions. We hope it will help to generate new propositions and look forward to discussing them. In such an endeavour, the notion of Constitution itself has to be explained. There are also a lot of presuppositions. Finally, a lot of preliminary questions have to be dealt with. The present note aims at presenting these elements as clearly as possible.
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