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
The EU Consented to Negotiations, but will it Allow Turkey in?
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
The European Union Online
The European Union in the US
Europa: A Constitution For Europe
Library of Congress Selected Internet Resources Europe
* Outside links are not maintained. For broken outside links, CIAO recommends the Way Back Machine [http://www.archive.org/].