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clear CIAO Focus, June 2005: The European Union Constitution
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The European Union
The process of European integration was thrown into confusion last month by the successive rejections of the proposed EU constitution by France and the Netherlands. The new constitution seeks to condense the existing set of treaties that govern the EU, clarifying the powers of the central government and member states. The constitution must be ratified by all 25 member states of the European Union before it can take effect. Although the EU will continue to function normally under the existing treaties, without a new constitution the road to further integration is unclear. France has historically been one of the major states pushing for EU integration, and its rejection of the treaty does not bode well for future integration efforts. However, many of the "no" voters in France may have been demonstrating a dissatisfaction with their own government, rather than a true rejection of the European Constitution. Despite the seeming success of European integration symbolized by the adoption of the Euro in 2002, the consensus that has guided the formation of the EU for the last two decades may be dissolving. The ratification of the European Constitution was widely seen as the next and perhaps greatest step in the decades old process of European integration. The recent double rejection may in fact doom the constitution altogether, and even puts the future of the European Union itself into doubt. The constitution may simply be dropped, or revised and re-submitted to referendums in member states, or a completely new set of documents may be drawn up.

From CIAO's database:

The EU Constitutional Treaty: How to Deal with the Ratification Bottleneck

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The Challenges of EU Accession for Post-Communist Europe

Global views on the European Union

Europe Could Become the First "Post-Modern" Superpower

New Members See Enlargement as Hindering Further Integration

EU Security and Defence Policy: The first five years (1999-2004)

Integration and Conditional Convergence in the Enlarged EU Area

Why European Citizens Will Reject the EU Constitution

Outside Links*:

The European Union Online

The European Union in the US

Europa: A Constitution For Europe

Library of Congress Selected Internet Resources Europe

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