Structure of the Draft Treaty
The Treaty establishing the Constitution comprises four parts:
Part I contains the text of the Constitution;
Part II contains the Charter of Fundamental rights;
Part III contains the detailed provisions on how the Constitution will operate;
Part IV contains the general provisions, including the ratification procedures.
In addition, there are several documents attached to the Constitution. These are:
Preamble, which had been initially drafted by V. Giscard d’Estaing and revised by the IGC;
Protocols: there are 36 Protocols in all, of which nine are new, including ones on the role of the national parliaments, the voting arrangements in the European Parliament and the Council and on subsidiarity and proportionality. In addition, there are two Protocols incorporating all of the Treaties of Accession;
Declarations: there are 50 Declarations, including one on the establishment of a European External Action Service and the explanations to the Charter of Fundamental Rights;
Final Act, which states that the Treaty, together with the Protocols and the Declarations have been signed and agreed by the Heads of State of the 25 Member States.
Notes on the Text
The Convention had been given eighteen months to complete its tasks. It spent fifteen months discussing the text of the Constitution in Part I and the Charter of Fundamental Rights (which forms Part II), leaving only three months to discuss Part III and Part IV.
The intention was that Part I would be a stand-alone document, to be read as a Constitution. In the event, this proved to be too difficult, adn the re are refernces to Part III, particularly in relation to the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice.
Part III contains the bulk of the Articles of the Treaty and describes the detailed policies and functioning of the Union. A large proportion of the Articles have been brought forward from the previous treaties, and although they have been modified and updated, this has not been comprehensive.
As a result, there are a number of anomalies in the text of Part III, including obsolete articles such as Articles III-166(2) and III-243, on German reunification, and Article III-215 on “paid holiday schemes”.
The Protocols from the existing treaties were not discussed by the Convention, as it was thought better that this area should be discussed by the European Council at the Inter-Governmental Conferences.
Charter of Fundamental Rights
Part II of the Treaty contains the text of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the Union which was introduced as a non-binding declaration in the Treaty of Nice. There have not been any major changes to the text of the Charter from Nice to the version in the Constitutional Treaty, except in incorporating the legally binding nature of the Charter, so that it comes under the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice. This is defined in Article II-112.
In addition, the Praesidium has prepared updated explanations for the interpretation of the Charter, and these are included as a Declaration attached to the Treaty. The BMDF has included the explanations in the additional papers in our book on the Draft Treaty.