Provisions of Constitution
The draft constitution makes provision for:
- the European Charter on Human Rights,
- a president of the European Council elected by European governments and the European parliament,
- convergence in foreign policy (subject to certain conditions),
- establishment of a European foreign minister,
- introduction of majority votes in many fields of politics (designed to streamline decision-making and reducing veto rights of individual countries in order to limit the amount of national bargaining notoric in European politics),
- clear assignments of responsibility to the institutions of the EU, in particular locking of the principle of subsidiarity,
- a more democratic and simplified decision process in the Council of Ministers (compared to the current situation),
- an increased role for national parliaments and the European Parliament in the scrutiny of draft EU legislation,
- adjustments to some terminology to make it easier to understand (e.g. 'European Regulation' becomes 'European law', 'European Directive' becomes 'European framework law').
Topics and Issues of the Constitution
The treaty, if and when its text is finalised, will be subject to ratification by each country, either by parliamentary ratification or national referendum, according to the tradition of the country concerned. If approved by all Member States (including the new ones), it will be put into force as soon as possible, though the treaty currently establishes 2009 as the year when all its provisions will be in force.
Talks in Brussels on 14 December 2003, originally intended to finalise the text for the constitution, stalled over this one issue and were abandoned. The constitution now looks highly
unlikely to be adopted in its current form.
- Qualified Majority - Voting Weights