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Understanding the treaties leading to the European Union Constitution


Part 2

I draw readers attention to The European Union Constitution site hosted by the University of Zaragoza containing documentation regarding European Union treaties negotiated and ratified since the 1950's, leading to the current Constitutional Treaty debate. Usefully dividing its items into 'preparation' (proposals and documents forming basis for negotiation), 'negotiation' (Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) process of amendments and changes), and 'ratification' (each member's unique ratification, referendum and constitutional modification), it is a good jump point for the history of postwar European integration:

  • Treaty of Paris (1951) - European Steel and Coal Community (ESCC)
  • Treaties of Rome (1957) - European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC)
  • Single European Act (1986) - additional harmonization measures
  • Maastricht Treaty (1992) - EU citizenship and the European Monetary Union (EMU)
  • Amsterdam Treaty (1997) - measures to strengthen political union and prepare for eastward enlargement
  • Nice Treaty (2001) - institutional changes required for enlargement
  • Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe - the especially Herculean task in a down market and fearful polities "to simplify and synthesize previous treaties within a single, clear, foundational document for the European Union"

NOTE: I find this site more immediately useful than the multimedia European NAvigator (ENA) knowledge base produced by the Centre Virtuel de la Connaissance sur l'Europe (Virtual Resource Centre for Knowledge about Europe) documenting the "historical and institutional development of a united Europe from 1945 to the present day." One value for the researcher is that the ENA site has its documents in both their original language as well as French and English translations.

Gordon Housworth

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