12 February, 2003
The Praesidium’s Draft of Articles 1 to 16 of the Constitutional Treaty : An insufficient proposal which does not faithfully reflect the consensus within the European Convention
The Bureau  of the  Union of  European  Federalists  (UEF)  welcomes the  presentation by the Convention Praesidium of the draft of first articles of the Constitutional Treaty. The debate on the  future  political  direction of  the  European  Union  will  now  become  more concrete.  The draft can serve as a basis for further progress towards a federal Constitution but is currently not sufficient for meeting the challenges of an enlarged EU in a globalized world.
In its Article 1, the draft Constitution instead of basing itself on the will of the peoples and the States of Europe, only very weakly “reflects” this will. This formula reveals the resistance to the idea of going from a Union of States to a Union of Citizens. Furthermore “to administer certain common  competences  on  a  federal  basis”  is insufficient.  All common  competences should be  governed on  the  basis  of  the  federal  method including  co-legislation of  the European Parliament and the Council, majority voting within the Council and the European Commission acting as the Government of the Union.
In order to underline that the main purpose of the  federal Union is to serve the citizens, the Charter of Fundamental Rights should be fully incorporated into the Constitution or even head  it.  It  should not  be  relegated  to  the  second part  or  to  a  protocol  annexed  to  the Constitution.
Provisions on Union’s competences show a vision which is still too intergovernmental. The Union’s competence  order  proposed by the  draft  articles  should  be  further  clarified and the Union’s competences should be strengthened : · Not  only  Common  commercial policy  but  External  economic  policy  must  be  an exclusive  Union’s  competences with  representation  in  WTO,  IMF  and other international institutions; 
· The  Constitution  should  contain  a  clear  EU  competence  for  Common  Foreign, Security and  Defence  Policy,  which  should become  an  exclusive  Union’s competence after a transitional period, as with the provisions in the Maastricht Treaty for the Monetary Union.
The UEF expects that the drafting work of the Convention Praesidium in future better to  respect the consensus  emerging  from  the  Convention plenary  debates.  The Convention’s institutional debate at the end of January overwhelmingly supported the idea of an  election  of the Commission  President  by  the  European  Parliament.  The  upcoming  draft articles on European institutions must reflect this consensus.

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