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The Constitution Debate

European Integration online Papers (EIoP), Vol. 7, No. 2003-004

64 Pages Posted: 26 May 2003  

Heinrich Schneider

University of Vienna - Department of Political Science


The paper deals with certain questions and problems of the constitutionalization of the European Union which did not receive very much attention from the 'Convention on the Future of Europe' and from the observers of that Convention's work, but which, nevertheless, may be relevant whenever the results of the Convention's work are assessed and evaluated. The paper mainly deals with 'background' problems associated with traditions of political thought in general and with basic understandings of European integration in particular. The paper also expounds on how the more recent constitution discussion, initiated due to the founding of the European Union, manifests continuities with the debates that have taken place over the past decades (since the start of the integration policy based on the 'Community method'). However, it shows that the discussion context has become more complex. In the last section of the paper, the relationship of 'statics' and 'dynamics' in relation to European constitutional conceptions is treated as a subject. The question arises as to whether and to what extent the constitution concept itself is in doubt and whether or not, in connection with this, important functions, whose very performance is expected of a constitution of the European Union, remain unfulfilled.

Keywords: European integration, EIoP, constitution building, constitutional change, federalism, intergovernmentalism, internationalisation, legitimacy, policy analysis, polity building, state building, supranationalism, enlargement, European Convention, founding Treaties, intergovernmental conferences, treaty reform, political science

Suggested Citation

Schneider, Heinrich, The Constitution Debate. European Integration online Papers (EIoP), Vol. 7, No. 2003-004. Available at SSRN: or

Heinrich Schneider (Contact Author)

University of Vienna - Department of Political Science ( email )

Bruenner Strasse 72
Vienna 1210, Vienna

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