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Text of
The Treaty
establishing a Constitution for Europe



The Final Text of the Constitution

The final text of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, as signed on 29 October 2004, is shown in the three files referenced below. These texts include the changes made by the Heads of Government in the December 2003 and the June 2004 Intergovernmental Conferences to the text of the Giscard Draft. The texts are from the Europa web-site.

Text of Preamble and Parts I to IV Text of the Preamble and Parts I to IV of the Constitution

Text of Annexes to Part IV and Protocols Text of Annexes to Part IV and Protocols

Text of the Final Act and Declarations Text of the Final Act and Declarations






The Treaty
establishing a Constitution for Europe




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.










Text of
the Draft Treaty
establishing a Constitution for Europe



The full text of the Draft Constitution is shown on the attached pdf files. We have split the text into three files for ease of viewing and downloading. We have two versions of the Draft Constitution: the draft as it was at the end of the Convention, and referred to as the 'Giscard Draft', and the text after it had been reviewed and modified by the legal staff of the European Union and used as a basis for discussions at the Inter-Governmental Conference on 12-13 December 2003.



The 'Giscard' Draft

Text of Preface, Preamble and Parts I and II Text of Preface, Preamble and Parts I and II

Text fo Part III Text of Part III

Text of Part IV, Protocols and Declarations Text of Part IV, Protocols and Declarations

The text of the Draft Treaty is taken from the official texts as given in:

  • The Draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, The European Convention, Brussels CONV 850/03, dated 18 July 2003;

  • The Draft Constitutional Treaty for the European Union FCO Cm 5897, August 2003. (This is a reprint of the complete Brussels text (CONV 850/03) plus a Foreword by Jack Straw MP, the Foreign Secretary, together with the Laeken Declaration and the European Council Conclusions at Thessaloniki).

The text includes the Preface and the Preamble together with the Protocols and the Declarations agreed by the Convention, including the Protocol on the role of the national parliaments, the voting arrangements in the European Parliament and the Council and on subsidiarity and proportionality.




The Draft Constitution after Legal Review

The changes made by the legal experts to the text of the Giscard Draft are shown in the texts referenced below. The changes are highlighted by bold text, to show additional text, or by using strikethrough to show deleted text. The texts are from the Europa web-site.

Text of Preamble and Parts I to IV Text of the Preamble and Parts I to IV of the Constitution

Text of Annexes to Part IV and Protocols Text of Annexes to Part IV and Protocols






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This page was last updated on   2 January 2010

© Copyright Andrew Cowgill, 2010


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