of the european constitutional process
It is a long time now since the European constitutional train was derailed.
The many proposals made for putting it back on track are notable for their quantity, but not always for their quality. However, they cover every conceivable option, ranging from covert attempts to bury it to wild idealism, and including minimalist ideas varying between calculated cynicism and a very relative effectiveness.
The scenario I am suggesting is intended to open up pragmatic possibilities, perhaps the only viable solution in the current political and legal situation. By avoiding many of the pitfalls, it should make it possible to adopt an initial European Constitution – which, in the current circumstances, is becoming more essential all the time – within a reasonable period.
Since it now seems that there is no plan B, C or Z, the proposals below are based largely on 'Plan A', in other words the system derived from the Convention. Ultimately this has proved to be the only 'material' that is still usable. But in present circumstances there is no longer any hope of this irrevocably damaged first draft coming to fruition. If it is to become operational, it has to be completely restructured and rethought. Sometimes it does not take much to make a radical change. 'Plan A +' will demonstrate that.
This general proposal, which is certainly ambitious, is presented in the form of three linked sections. The first explains my action plan, describing the current situation, discussing the various possibilities and outlining a complete methodology for a realistic solution to the crisis. The second section is the new text of the Constitution that would result from the process. The third section contains the existing non-constitutional European agreements (policies, procedures, protocols) that were included in the previous draft Constitution and would still have the status of a treaty.
Thus sections 2 and 3 together contain the conclusions, outlining a new draft European Constitution and a new draft European Treaty, which are now clearly differentiated. The two-part text is the fruit of patient 'deconstruction/reconstruction' work based on the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe signed in Rome on 29 October 2004. However, the two texts faithfully reproduce all the provisions of the old Constitutional Treaty. As explained in the first section, the only short, but certainly decisive, amendment to the original text concerns the arrangements for ratifying and amending the two new documents.
Designed as an instant solution to the crucial issue of the European Constitution, this plan could be the 'positive' scenario awaited by all committed Europeans, whatever their previous views on the subject.