Constitutional Convention, European

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A forum convened in March 2002, with a brief to devise a draft constitutional makeup of the EU. This was to recognize the dramatic growth of the EU since the 1980s, as European integration both became much deeper (e.g. through the euro) and wider (through the accession of twelve new member states in central and eastern Europe). The Convention had been asked to reflect on a reformed structure for Europe, but it soon focused on establishing a Constitutional Treaty. The Convention was directed by a nine-member Praesidium headed by a Chairman, Giscard d'Estaing, and two Vice-Chairmen (Guiliano Amato and Jean-Luc Daehane). In addition to the Praesidium, the Convention was composed of three delegates per member state representing the executive and legislature. It also included three representatives of each of the thirteen applicant member states, though these were not allowed to vote. In addition, the Convention included sixteen members of the European Parliament and two representatives from the European Commission. The Convention agreed on a Draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe (18 July 2003). It proposed the adoption of a Charter of Fundamental Rights, a reduction in the number of commissioners, and more powers for the European Parliament. The Draft Treaty was submitted to an Intergovernmental Conference, which approved the document with a number of amendments.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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