The Member States of the European Union are currently in volved in a lively debate that is centered on what might be the biggest step yet towards the federalization of Europe. The 2001 Laeken Declaration states that the Member States are required to start work on the creation of a Constitution of the European Union. The adoption of the European Constitution is not likely to be accomplished without any complications. The coming about of the European Union itself has been plagued by difficulties arousing from differences in opinion between the Member States. In this essay, I will analyze two major problems of that are inherently attached to the construction of a European Constitution. In my closing statement, I will suggest improvements that may solve these problems, either in part or in full.
One of the problems that accompany the designing the European Constitution is the question of how the exact structure and contents of the Constitution are to be determined (Shaw, p. 182). The Member States are currently negotiating about these matters at Intergovernmental Conferences that are held on a regular basis. Representations of the governments of the Member States are required to agree unanimously before any new addition to the existing Treaties can be concluded. If this is accomplished, a Declaration is written and published, signed by the presidents of the all the Representations. Of course, these Treaties and Declarations must then be ratified by the Legislative Bodies of all the Member States. Here, the principle of unanimity requires that the Legislative Bodies of all Member States ratify the Treaties and Declarations before they can be put into force. In addition, the National Legislative Bodies are not empowered to make amendments to the Treaties and Declarations. The existence of these two conditions accounts for the fact that the National Legislative Bodies have very little influence on the content of Treaties and Declarations.