Talk:Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe

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Archived talk: Talk:European Constitution/Archived talk

"june 2006...had ratified"[edit]

Is this correct. The beginning of the article states that as of June 2006, a number of states "had ratified" the constitution. Should it read "will have ratified"??

this article is pure propaganda[edit]

Why are so many uncritically accepting the EU's official line about the constitutional treaty being designed for 'to streamline decision-making' and all that. The real purpose is to undermine national sovereignty and eventually build a superstate. Jean Monnet has clearly stated that this was the idea behind socalled 'European Unity'.

"Europe's nations should be guided towards a super state without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation." The single currency was the most important of these steps: as Monnet said, "Via money Europe could become political in five years." - Jean Monnet

We are being deceived at every step. The idea is to create a superstate run by the political elite, and democracy on European level will be all but eliminated.

Giuliano Amato, Vice-President of the Convention that drew up the EU Constitution, said, "In Europe one needs to act 'as if' - as if what was wanted was little, in order to obtain much, as if States were to remain sovereign to convince them to concede sovereignty ... The Commission in Brussels, for example, should act as if it were a technical instrument, in order to be able to be treated as a government. And so on by disguise and subterfuge."

The constitution was not drawn up to streamline decision making or any of that, as I said, the idea was to hollow out national sovereigty. Which was Monnet's idea to begin with.

They are doing this by stealth, subterfuge, lies and deceit. And they have even said so themselves, as I quoted.

Giscard d'Estaign has said about the constitution: ""Our constitution cannot be reduced to a mere treaty for co-operation between governments. Anyone who has not yet grasped this fact deserves to wear the dunces cap.. Our continent has seen successive attempts at unifying it: Caesar, Charlemange and Napoleon, among others. We, for our part, seek to unify it by the pen. Will the pen succeed where the sword has finally failed ?"

They are deliberately trying to blur the distinction between the EU and Europe. The 2 terms are not in any way synonymous, as European cooperation could exist without the EU, and probably (but this is POV) for the better.

But I don't want to see such uncritical articles which basically present EU propaganda as fact. The truth is in the words of the people that founded the EU and now run it.

-- 13:55, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

The POV is fine as it presents both sides of the argument, see the criticisms section, but the European Constitution is a tool of the New World Order.


You're advocating replacing a highly factual article with one that emphasises Eurosceptic propaganda. Might I remind you that the Treaty was not drawn up by the "European Union" or "Brussels Bureaucrats" hiding in an ivory tower somewhere, it was formulated and agreed by the national governments of the member states. The fact that Jean Monnet is seen as the father of the European Union does not result in his opinion speaking for the contemporary actors at the European level, Jean Monnet was a dogmatic federalist whose ideas have long been rejected by virtually everyone involved in the European Union today. I lose track of the most important point in trying to pick a fight with you however, namely that the article, as an encyclopedia article is inclined to do, states what the expressed intention of the Constitutional Treaty was. Eurosceptic interpretations about what you think it really was about have no place in an encyclopedia article outside of a general discussion of the criticisms, but as it happens what you want to present as a fact is highly contentious even among Eurosceptics. The general concensus amongst academics is that the aim of the constitution was on the one hand to synthesise the treaties and make EU law more accessible and on the other hand to answer some of the questions about the democratic deficit. The mistake of the treaty in my opinion was to put these answers to the democratic question under a banner which emphasised symbolic statelike qualities of the European Union (let's face it the debate never really got past it being called a "constitution" for most people). This allowed a stream of hysteric Eurosceptics to level the kind of criticisms at it which you've already mentioned. blankfrackis 23:14, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

I totally agree with i know ppl will not accept that quote from Jean Monnet, even if is faulse quote that is what they are doing. in the lissabon treaty its actually allowed to kill protesters! quote wikipedia: "Recently Schachtschneider has made several public lectures and talks on the un-constitutionality of the Lisbon treaty, on its many problems, including the backdoor reintroduction of the death penalty into the EU in peace time, something expressly forbidden in most of Europes democracies, as Schachtschneider has been one of the very few to actually point out and voice an opinion of for a steadily increasing Euro-skeptic movement that has branches and relatively large organisations in all European countries ("Nej til EU", Sweden. "Juni-bevegelsen", Denmark ) and so on." (talk) 16:03, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Article numbers[edit]

It would be extrememly useful to reference the article numbers to the descriptions on the page

Parliamentary ratification[edit]

The countries where referenda were/are to be held still have to ratify the treaty in parliament. Shouldn't we somehow include the figures for those votes in the table in some way? I'm not quite sure how, myself - either we just add the countries to the "parliament" section as well, or we add another row after each country in the "referenda" section to include the figures for parliamentary ratication results... Any ideas? Nightstallion 07:02, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

I was wondering about this myself. This applies to countries where the referendum is consultative. It is still the parliament that is ratifying the constitution. Spain's parliament has already had a vote that isn't included. I think it would be preferable to add a column to the referenda table. Parmaestro 09:25, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

Could someone please change the color of Germany on the map? The treaty has only been ratified by the Bundestag, the lower house, but also needs approval from the Bundesrat, the upper house. The Bundestag, made up of representatives from the local governements of the different laender, is in no way as positive as the Bundestag.

Did you mean to say Bundesrat at the last sentence?

Glitch in the wiki?[edit]

After I made an edit, I saw the diff also making a worsened edit to some interlanguage wikis, which I hadn't touched at all. After I restored them in a second edit, it now seems like I was the one introducing the improved interlanguage edit and the first diff now looks like it should have been in the first place. -- Dissident (Talk) 15:54, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

Oh, I wondered what was going on! I spotted that weird change - the German one in particular went very weird! Wombat 08:42, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

Union law and national law[edit]

I've just reverted an edit by to the previous version. The anonymous user's edits created this paragraph (under Union law and national law):

Defenders of the constitution point out that it has always been the case that EU law supersedes national law, and that it has long been accepted in European nations that international law which a nation subscribed to overrides national law. According to them, the proposed Constitution does not change this arrangement for either existing or future EU law. However, the question of whether the arrangement is considered acceptable in the first place is still an issue for debate. Moreover, there were no such thing called EU laws before the European Constitution. Instead there were EU directives, that had to be transposed into national laws by national parliaments. The EU laws introduced by the European Constitution come into force without vote from national parliaments.

This is wrong in several respects:

  • EU law already supersedes national law. The treaty changes nothing in this respect. That's not a point of view, but an established fact; where there is genuine debate between different POVs is over whether this is an acceptable state of affairs, and this is the debate which the article should summarise.
Are you sure about this? Although all member states have agreed to implement European Law over their own (although not always - check out the French ban on British Beef), by the terms of the various treaties, as the EU does not have its own legal entity it cannot have sovereignty.
  • It is not true to say that the EU's statutory instruments change with the constitution. There always have been two such instruments: 'directives' and 'regulations'. Directives are agreed by governments and Parliament at EU level, then implemented at national level. Regulations are agreed by governments and Parliament at EU level, but don't need national implementation as they are directly applicable. (Well, actually there are a couple of other types too.) The constitution does not change this arrangement. All it does is to rename 'directives' as 'European framework laws', and 'regulations' as 'European laws'.
  • At present, EU directives aren't necessarily transposed by national parliaments. More often, they are transposed by other national statutory instruments, e.g. by regulations from government departments. (In the UK, this is what gives rise to the common accusation of 'gold-plating'.)
  • Anyway, no EU laws are introduced by the constitution. They are introduced by Council and Parliament under the framework laid down by the constitution, if it's ratified. (OK, this one is a bit pedantic!)

(By the way, it's also a bit contentious to claim that EU laws introduced under the constitution come into force "without vote from national parliaments" - but that's a different story…)

Anyway, the reverted version of the paragraph looks like this:

Defenders of the constitution point out that it has always been the case that EU law supersedes national law, and that it has long been accepted in European nations that international law which a nation subscribed to overrides national law. The proposed Constitution does not change this arrangement for either existing or future EU law. However, the question of whether the arrangement is considered acceptable in the first place is still an issue for debate.

Wombat 09:05, 26 May 2005 (UTC)


I'm somewhat amazed at the length indications given here and there.

I have the documented printed by the French government for French voters. The constitution itself is about 80 pages long. That's considerably longer than the French constitution, but it's not the 500-page nightmare that some people described.

The remaining 100 pages of appendices deal with details to clear, with issues like oversea territories. David.Monniaux 16:17, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

4 months may be too long to point this out, but it has been established by official sources (politicians during televeision debates, newspapers and such), that the printed document offered to the French voters was a summary of the treaty, and not the full text itself. --Hiddenson 10:16, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

Not so. The document is right in front of me, and it's definitely the full text of the constitution plus protocols and annexes, and it was definitely sent to all French voters. The booklet also includes the European Parliament's report. Wombat 10:47, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

My apologies if I am mistaken. Could you then please clarify how long is the document sent? --Hiddenson 11:26, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

No problem. The document is as follows:
  • 53 pages for the treaty itself;
  • 71 pages for the protocols and annexes which deal with matters relevant to specific countries and institutions;
  • 39 pages for Parliament's summary and report (in big print!);
  • 3 pages for the detailed table of contents;
  • 1 page about how to get more information from the European Parliament's office;
  • 1 title page;
  • so 169 pages in total.
Hope that clarifies things! Wombat 12:31, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

By Wikipedia naming policy, shouldn't this article be at European Constitution? ed g2stalk 12:24, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Comparison to the United States Constitution[edit]

How about a table comparing similarities and differences with the US Constitution ? One point that is missing in the European Constitution is Freedom of Speech. I'm sure that a point by point comparision would be very enlightening.

It would be a little strange to compare it with just one constitution, whether it's the US or Japanese Constitution or whatever. Nearly every country has a written document it can point to as its Constitution and the US one seems no more appropriate to have a section on in the article than any other. And in any case, this Constitution is very different from any existing national constitution and much more like an international treaty (which technically it is). It's difficult to make direct point-by-point comparisons with national constitutions, and much more straightforward to compare with the existing treaties of the EU. As for freedom of speech, I recommend giving Part II of the Constitution a read, which includes, amongst other provisions: "Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers." — Trilobite (Talk) 16:24, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
All countries in the EU must subscribe to the European Convention on Human Rights, which provides for freedom of speech. Additionally, many European countries (France, but not the UK for instance) already had free speech constitutional provisions. David.Monniaux 17:03, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
Actually some eu contries (France but also Germany, Holland and probably others) make it ilegal to promote national socialism for example.
Yes, the definition of "freedom of speech", in every country, suffers from some restrictions. For instance, in the United States, you are not free to promote free, open sexuality to children (you may be prosecuted for providing pornographic material to minors). David.Monniaux 05:19, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Such a comparision would indeed be very usefull (although the eu constitution isn't really a constitution in the modern understanding of the word, but rather a compilation of various eu regulations, where else does any one see it fit to include fishing policies in a constitution?). The main diffrence is however not what the constitution says, but the it is said. The american constitution enumerates certain inalienable rights an indivdual has, while the corresponding section of the eu constitution grants certain privileges to individuals (including things such as social security and public health care, equality between men and women & cetera).
On your first point, yes, you're quite right. This is basically a consolidated version of the international treaties that already govern the EU's operations (which rely entirely on relations between sovereign states, and so must be set out in a treaty, fishing policies and all), plus a bit more. As for granting priviliges, I can't see where you get that from at all. It seems as much a myth as the one above that the constitution doesn't guarantee freedom of speech. — Trilobite (Talk) 12:27, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

Recognizing rights or granting privileges might seem like a purely gramatical issue but it shows a deep philosophical diffrence. While the american constitution specificly forbids the government from doing specific things (with phrase like shall make no law, shall not be infringed, No Soldier shall [...] be quartered, shall not be violated, No person shall be held), the late european constitution uses general terms such as respected, protected, guaranteed. Consider for example two sentences:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."


"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right includes freedom to change religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or in private, to manifest religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance."
"Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers."
The first is quite self explanatory: it prevents the government from restricting freedom of speech. The second isn't, a malicious judge could use it for example to restrict ownership rights over a newspaper claiming my refusal to print an article violates freedom to impart information. (ofcourse a judge can say whatever he wishes and I've heard of some pretty strange verdicts in the US but thats not the fault of the way the constitution was worded).
Please sign your talk by typing three tildes (~~~) so we know who's saying what! Wombat 13:33, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

Sorry - I don't agree that it would be useful to make this kind of comparison at all. The US constitution and the EU constitution aren't just different things; they are entirely different types of thing, with so little in common, you may as well not bother. Comparing the two side-by-side would be like trying to compare a hammer with a hacksaw: we can make useful overarching statements about the differences between the two (one is for hammering nails, the other is for sawing wood), but it'd make no sense at all to try to compare the individual component parts of each because they're so different.

The US constitution is the fundamental source of legal authority for a nation. The EU constitution is a consolidated set of binding international treaties, plus a charter of rights and a collection of agreed common principles between nations, and it categorically states that it is not the fundamental source of legal authority for the EU (that derives from the sovereignty of the individual member states). They are about as different as you can get. Wombat 12:59, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

I agree they are two very diffrent thigs, (it should be clearly stated in the first paragraph of the article what the eu constitution was supposed to be and how it differs from the commons understanding of the word btw) Still a paragraph comparing the relevant parts would be usefull.
From the first para: "The Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe ... is an international treaty ... intended to create a constitution for the European Union. Its main aims are to replace the overlapping set of existing treaties that comprise the Union's current constitution, and to streamline decision-making in what is now a 25-member organisation." This gives some hint as to how radically different this document is from the constitution of a country. As for a comparison with the US Constitution, notwithstanding the points that have been made about how this would be comparing apples with oranges, this would look a bit odd in an international encyclopedia. From an American perspective it might make sense to take the US Constitution as a starting point and going on to explain how this one is something different, but there's no reason for this article to be written from an American perspective. The USA is not the only country with a constitution! — Trilobite (Talk) 13:48, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
Agree with Trilobite on both points. US constitution is irrelevant; implicit comparison with constitutions in general is already adequate. Wombat 17:30, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
Of course the US is not the only country that has a constitution, and of course you want to try to stay unbiased. however, the U.S. Constitution is pretty much the "Gold Standard" and all other constitutions will inevitably be compared to to it.


I wondered whether that was a joke or a serious comment, but if you did mean it seriously, please be aware that it's likely that you only consider the U.S. Constitution the "Gold Standard" because you're American, I'm guessing. You may wish to spend some time learning about the wonderful world beyond your borders.... — Trilobite (Talk) 00:19, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Don’t accuse me of being ignorant, you condescending jerk. I said the US constitution is the gold standard because that’s the simple truth. The US constitution is the wholly most remarkable document ever written. It’s four pages long and has remained essentially unchanged for 218 years. It has spawned a nation, that in every measurable sense, is the greatest nation on Earth. It is defiantly the measuring stick for all present and future constitutions. Awesomesauce
Please leave out the personal attacks and comedy nationalism. They won't get you very far in a rational argument. — Trilobite (Talk) 12:22, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The United States are definitely not the greatest nation of the world by my standards and by the standards of many other people, so stop generalizing from your point of view. Apart from that, I find it ridiculous to call any nation the "greatest" nation of all. Nightstallion 04:59, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Dude, get over yourself and drop the politically-correct garbage. The U.S. Constitution is a natural analogy for this, as it spelled out the terms of a federal union of 13 (now 50) states. Funnyhat 05:07, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Prior to adopting the current US Constitution, the US was under the Articles of Confederation. Under the Articles the states largely maintained their sovereignty while granting very limited powers to the central government. Modifications and decisions required unanimity. The constitution was drafted to overcome the deadlock that arose from this requirement. Irrespective of the quality of the US Constitution, the analogy is pretty strong and references to the US Constitution have been made since the drafting of the EU constitution even by, inter alia, Valery Giscard d'Estaing. One must remember that the understanding of the US states and the US federal government in the 18th and 19th century was very different from that of today's. For those interested in comparative analysis, the natural choice would be constitutions of confederations, federations and federal governments. Parmaestro 07:06, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

All right, steady on. There are two separate questions here:

  1. Is it useful to compare the EU constitution to other documents, like national constitutions? (My opinion is 'no', as I said above, but I'm open to be convinced.)
  2. If we agree it is useful to do so, which one should we choose, and why? (The US constitution is an option, but regardless of whether we happen to think that the US is the greatest country on earth or the US constitution is a wonderful document, we'd need to find a decent NPOV reason for choosing our 'yardstick'. And I think that would be a very difficult thing to do indeed.)

Wombat 08:37, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

If the constitution is going to be compared to anything, I think a comparison to the previous treaties that it's replacing (In a neat table form, I mean. I assume it's somewhere in the article in prose, which I confess to having skimmed only. You can find a comparison with the US constitution simply by going to the article on US constitution and reading it and comparing too.) and to the constitutions of the European countries which it will function with, if there are any points of comparison at all. 10:01, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

To whoever asserts that the US Constitution is wonderful and all, a few historical reminders:

  • The US Constitution did not prevent, and even, I should say, was a reason for the American Civil War, a very bloody and costly war which left scars for more than a century (see for instance the still remaining quarrels about Dixie flags or calling the war the "War of Northern Aggression").
  • The US Constitution did initially very little actually with respect to civil rights. Initially, it limited the powers of the Federal government, and states were actually free to trample civil rights (for instance, the so-called "wall of separation between Church and State" is a later interpretation; as far as I know, some federated states had established churches, and prosecuted advocacy of atheism, blasphemy etc., not to mention the religiously motivated persecution of homosexuality).

So, we should take things with a pinch of salt. The US constitutional rights as we know them are a fairly recent invention. David.Monniaux 17:01, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

yeah, but civil rights dont have that much to do with consitutions. They are often included, or in the American example, tacked on shortly after, but its really a seperate matter. Awesomesauce
Then this whole discussion is moot, since the alleged weakness of civil rights in the proposed constitution is the topic since the beginning (see "Freedom of Speech"). And, indeed, the EU probably doesn't have to have an extensive bill of rights, since it has no law enforcement powers of its own (at best, coordination of law enforcement powers), nor does it have a criminal justice system; but its members states adhere to the European Convention on Human Rights. David.Monniaux 05:19, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Quite right. Actually, the point of including the Charter of Fundamental Rights is nothing to do with the member states, since all member states already accede individually. The difference is that the EU institutions will now be subject to the same scrutiny by the Strasbourg ECHR as individual member states already are. In other words, laws agreed at EU level will have to conform to those basic standards. Wombat 12:54, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Rampant doubling[edit]

Anyone else seeing the sections two or three times each, in seemingly random order? From the history it appears that people have been editing since this happened, which is going to make it a mess to spaghetti back together... 02:58, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

This kept happening earlier, for reasons I couldn't quite fathom. We were up to three or four duplicates at one point. It seems to have been alright the last few hours, but if you're still seeing it there may be a cache problem. I 'flushed the tanks' as it were, but if you're still seeing it try a hard refresh to clear your own browser's cache (I think you hold down shift and click refresh). — Trilobite (Talk) 03:06, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure if it helps the admins sort out the problem, but I looked at the pages for the first time today with my computer, and it looks fine in Firefox and is doubled and tripled up on Internet Explorer. When I go to "Edit this page" in IE, it shows source code corresponding to the doubling. ESkog 03:35, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
That suggests a browser cache problem then. Internet Explorer is still showing you the old doubled version, while Firefox has realised the page has been changed. The moral of the story: use Firefox! — Trilobite (Talk) 11:03, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

Misdirected link[edit]

In the chapter 2.2 Common agenda, in the list of prevailing principles, item solidarity links to the page describing Polish trade union Solidarnošć while it refers to concept of solidarity in general sense.

Lets build a new European Constitution![edit]

The European constitution is supposed to define the basic rights of all European citizens. Therefore it should not be written by politicians and law makers but by the European people themselves! The current events show that many Europeans are not willing to accept a constitution (whether percieved as good or bad), which has been drafted by others than themselves. Many people want to be directly involved in the process and share their ideas.

I would therefore like to suggest that we start a mediawiki with the goal to draft a New European Constitution from bottom up. I deeply believe that the result will be accepted by considerably more citizens than the draft we are/were currently asked (or not asked) to vote for. Please feel free to present your suggestions on the New European Constitution discussion board. Spitzl 13:43, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

What for? EU does not need Constitution. EU does not need political integration. EU just needs free market and equal chaces, so the job places will go back to Poland, Hungary, Czech etc. Szopen 13:46, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Right or wrong, I don't think this is the place for this discussion. An article's talk page is a place for discussing the content of the article. Wombat 14:34, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

You are probably right. I didn't mean to start a new never-ending discussion about the pros and cons of the constitution. I just thought to gather some ideas how wiki could help get new ideas.Spitzl 22:10, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

There was a flurry of rather wide-ranging edits yesterday by new editors. Until now the article has been mostly maintained by just a few of us - so some fresh blood is great!

However, I have made a few changes and reversions. Most of these are straightforward and clear from the edit history, but a couple might need explaining:

  • The sub-sub-headings had been changed from bullet points (using *) to proper headers (using ====). I've reverted that change. Many months ago, we tried doing it properly in that way, but the table of contents got huge and unwieldy. After discussion on the talk page, we settled on bullets instead, since they're 'invisible' to the contents page.
  • I've re-revised the section under 'controversy' on human rights. That section had been stable for a while, but recently was rewritten. The rewrite was authoritative, but it wasn't NPOV (i.e. it dismissed several anti-constitution arguments without equivocation - an approach with which I sympathise, but we still can't do that!), and it was also quite technical. I've simplified, and provided a link instead to a Law Society of England and Wales document which explains the same thing in more detail. My revisions are, of course, open to further edit if anyone disagrees.
  • There was a reference to the current constitution of the EU consisting of 'overlapping treaties'. Wikidea removed that reference, adding the edit summary: "the current treaties do not 'overlap,' they deal with separate 'pillars'". The second part of that is true, but misses the point. The current treaties overlap not because of the pillar structure of the EU but because each one contains provisions that repeal or amend parts of the older treaties. I've restored the reference to 'overlapping', therefore.

Notwithstanding those minor points, the extra attention this page has been receiving is very welcome! If new editors could just remember to check the talk page before they make large-scale changes, that would be helpful in avoiding old arguments. Wombat 15:13, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

So what was wrong with the approach I took in this version, of removing most of the bullet headings that make the middle part of the article so hard to read, in favour of just lists with introductory phrases bolded? The couple of extra wiki headings (in one section) didn't harm the TOC either. Rd232 14:01, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Nothing wrong with it, IMHO. Wombat 12:03, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

parliamentary ratification[edit]

Did you mean to say as the Bundesrat in the last sentence?

Latin inscription[edit]

Randywombat has deleted the translation of the latin inscription. It might be mistranslated. But the point is, that the inscription is naming the state in singularum (I dont know what this is in english), not in plural. Please reinsert the tranlation, and correct it if its wrong. It has everything to do with the constitution, why else having the inscription made? -- 9 July 2005 10:42 (UTC)

Well, OK. I see what you're trying to do here, but let's look at this properly.
(1) I suppose the inscription could just about be regarded as relevant to the constitution, because the inscription was in shot in Rome when the treaty was signed. So be it. But I really don't think that the caption of a photograph is the place to mention the translation. If you do want to make a point of this inscription, let's have a proper discussion in the text of the article, not a fleeting and potentially misleading (see below) reference in a place where it can't be qualified or discussed.
(2) More importantly, "EUROPAEAE REI PUBLICAE STATUS" is not unambiguously singular. If my Latin serves me correctly, it could mean "State of the European republic" or "States of the European republic", i.e. it could be either singular or plural. (Fourth declension nominative singular and plural are identical in form.) Or, indeed, it could mean "State/States of a republican Europe", where "republican" with a small R has its straightforward technical meaning, "a political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them" [1] rather than its specific meaning of "a single state united under an elected ruler". If the translation is to stay, these niceties need to be discussed in some detail, otherwise casual readers will go away with the wrong impression and a new euromyth will be born.
So here are two questions. (1) Do we think this in-depth discussion belongs here in the middle of an otherwise factual article about the constitution? (My judgement is that it doesn't, but let's see what the consensus is.) And (2) If we decide to include the discussion, where would it best fit?
Wombat 08:39, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
English is not my native language, so I will not be fluent in an discussion. But I wil answer some of it:
I dont think I understand youre question. If the information about what the inscriptions says does not belong under the picture of it, where does it belong then?
On what basis will you claim that it has nothing to do with the constitution. The portal has been made specifically for that date, the 29. of october 2004, as you can see on the picture?
Where else should the debate be?
A Latin Professor, Karsten Friis-Jensen, head of the the latin institute in Copenhagen[2], has verified that the translation is in singularum. Not in plural.
A politician, M. Messerschmidt[3], in the danish "Folketing" (the parlament) has raised the question to our head of state, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, regarding the indiviual countries suveraenity, specifically because of the inscription, which made him wonder.
So what about the translation is non-factual? -- 01:48, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply, and don't worry, your English is perfectly clear! Far better than my Danish… :o)
Firstly, my point (2) above was based on memory, so if my Latin grammar is not what it should be, I apologise. However, since writing that, I've come across a discussion from the French no campaign which I think backs up my understanding that it could be either singular or plural:
Pourtant, peu ont relevé qu'à Rome, le 29 octobre 2004, les signataires du traité ont été photographiés devant un arc de carton-pâte portant une curieuse inscription latine totalement inédite : " EUROPAEAE REI PUBLICAE STATUS " qui peut se traduire par : État (ou États, car status appartient à la quatrième déclinaison latine où le nominatif singulier et pluriel est identique) de la République européenne… [4]
Grammatical niceties aside, I personally think this discussion is a bit too tangential and esoteric to be relevant here at all. But suppose we agree that it is relevant. We then have some options:
(1) We could write a new section about it under European Constitution#Controversy.
(2) Or we could write a new section about it in History of the European Constitution discussing its signing.
(3) Or we could write a new section about it in Euroscepticism.
Personally, I prefer the third option. But my main point is that I really don't think the place for this in-depth and controversial discussion is in the caption to a photo! It definitely deserves its own section somewhere, if it goes anywhere at all. Wouldn't you agree? Wombat 16:30, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
I am sorry to say that I can’t translate latin. Thats why I am relying on the translation of the inscription from a Ph.d. at the latin-greek institute of the University of Copenhagen. If what he says is true, (and why should a man who has been studying latin most of his life be wrong about that) then whats there left to debate? You will have to come up with a better “maybe“, than a french site on the web, (As far as my french took me, it is not a latin professor who is talking about the incription here, is it?) to make me doubt Karsten Friis-Jensen. So which debate are you refering to? Why make a big history out of it? I personally find it hard to make more than a sentence out of it. It is simple: The inscription talks about one state. No need to mystify it. -- 22:12, 16 July 2005 (UTC) (I have fixed the link/note above)
You are for some reason overlooking my main point, which I repeat here:
Grammatical niceties aside, I personally think this discussion is a bit too tangential and esoteric to be relevant here at all. But suppose we agree that it is relevant. We then have some options:
(1) We could write a new section about it under European Constitution#Controversy.
(2) Or we could write a new section about it in History of the European Constitution discussing its signing.
(3) Or we could write a new section about it in Euroscepticism.
Personally, I prefer the third option. But my main point is that I really don't think the place for this in-depth and controversial discussion is in the caption to a photo! It definitely deserves its own section somewhere, if it goes anywhere at all. Wouldn't you agree? Wombat 08:20, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
I will refrain from repeating myself. I agree with you on one point: this discussion is out of place. You keep claiming that there are more than one translation of the inscription. And on that basis you would like to have a whole section written about it. To write a whole section about that, seems rather farfetched, unless you come up with another latin professor, to back up your viewpoint. What would you write about the inscription ? Personally I would be happy to have the translation in the text under the picture, where I put in in the first place. -- 22:19, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
No, allow me to make myself clearer. Never mind about the ambiguous translation. As I said above, even disregarding grammatical niceties, I still think the discussion is too tangential and esoteric to be relevant here at all.
But of course my opinion isn't the last word. This is a collaborative encyclopedia. If you think it relevant, and if there's a consensus among other regulars here that it's relevant, then let's include it. But the caption to a photo is not where it belongs, because it is (at the very least) controversial, and the place to discuss controversy is not in the caption to a photo. That's why I queried its placement.
As for what, specifically, I would say, I haven't drafted it yet. I'm probably not the person to do so, since I don't know a lot about it. But any decent discussion would touch on the following:
* Is the inscription of interest to any eurosceptics? Why? Who? Where? (The very fact that it has been discussed in Denmark and France, it appears, makes it interesting and worthy of discussion.)
* What are the implications for national sovereignty?
* Have any pro-Europeans replied to the eurosceptic complaints about it? What have they said?
* What has been the outcome of M. Messerschmidt's question to Andreas Rasmussen?
Do you see what I mean? Either this issue isn't very relevant, in which case forget it, or it is relevant and important, in which case a passing reference in a caption is just inappropriate: it is misleading, but worse, it's frustrating for those who want to know more. We're writing an encyclopedia here, not simply a list of ostensible facts. If this inscription is relevant at all, it deserves a discussion. Wouldn't you agree? I hope you understand, I have no objection at all to including this in the article or elsewhere if that's more appropriate.
Would anyone else like to help us out here? I think we may end up going round in circles otherwise. Wombat 10:40, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
1. Will you explain why you find the translation ambiguous? Does ambiguous not mean: vague or ”having many possible interpertations”? On what basis should we ”newer mind” this? I’m not making an ”exotic discussion” about the translation. But you keep saing, that it has more than one meaning, whithout backing it up. In the first place, when you removed the tranlation, you where giving to reasons: (rm Latin: incorrect translation, actually has nothing to do with constitution)
2. About frustration because of no further information on why the latin inscription talks about one state: I can understand that. Why dont you, or anybody else, try getting some answers on that? According to your user page, the EU is a main part of your job? I have myself tried to get answers on that: The EU informationcenter in Copenhagen ”dont know” and refered me to the Italian embassy ”who will not comment on yesterdays politics”, and asking the Prime Minister, I got an answer on the question that mr. Messerschmidt has asked, where the prime minister endning up with saying that he will not comment on the latin inscription.
So I havent got any facts about ”why” the translation talks about one state. Thats why I wouldn’t be able to write about it. I have got one bullet proof fact, and concerning that this is an encyclopedia, that is all I can contribute with at the moment. I think it would be great if somebody could write a whole section about this, AND still having the translation at the picture text. I thought that an encyclopedia is about facts, not about a lot of guessing? -- 11:26, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
By the way, what does ostensible means? -- 11:42, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
Thanks. Now we're getting somewhere. On the first question, what you say your Latin professor says doesn't correspond with my knowledge of Latin or with other sources, but I will take you at your word and withdraw the suggestion that it's ambigious. On the second question, I don't have access to that information but can certainly draft something which begins to take it into account.
How about this for a compromise, then? Between us, we draft the beginnings of a suitable paragraph - perhaps on the Euroscepticism page - and then we link to that discussion from the caption of the picture on this page? Other people will surely chip in when the edits are made. Hopefully no "guessing" should be required (I'm not sure what you mean here).
By the way, sorry for using obscure words - an 'ostensible fact' means 'something that is put forward as a fact'. Wombat 14:00, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
Extra link: I really can't see how your Latin professor is right. [5] clearly shows that -us (as in STATUS) can be either singular or plural fourth declension nominative. See also Latin_declension#Fourth_declension_.28u.29 and [6]. Wombat 14:03, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
While IANALT (LT = Latin teacher), I got through six years of Latin with straight A grades, and let me assure you - the inscription is ambiguous. It could either be "State of the European Republic/State" (res publica doesn't necessarily mean republic, but rather state or nation in general) or "States of the European Republic/State". I don't see too much controversy about that inscription, except for the fact that eurosceptics will apparently try to make the EU look bad wherever possible, even if the issue is not controversial... ;) Nightstallion 14:42, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
Thanks Nightstallion. I didn't mention this earlier (because I wasn't sure until I checked the links above), but I have a degree in linguistics and my verdict is also that it's ambiguous. I wonder if our anonymous interlocutor (oops, more Latin) will agree to my compromise now, or simply withdraw? Wombat 15:12, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

Well mr. Linguist and mr. Latin teacher: The sentence is in the genitive case, so there is absolutely nothing to discuss:

"Europaeae rei pvblicae statvs" translates unambiguously into "The Constitution of the european STATE".

The least anonymous here is in fact me. You both have my IP-adress, I know nothing about you. I dont think calling myself cuddlysquirrel or morningcozy would make me less anonymous.

I'm tired of your personal attacks on my credibility, your irony and your arrogance. This only tell me, that you are not out in an NPOV mood. I dont know who you are, but im pretty sure that Nightstallion has never got straight A's in latin. I am not fluent in english, and you are not making it easier for me here. And by the way just for the record (and this is the last time i will repeat it) "my professor" has a name, and an occupation as the head of the latin greek institue of the university of Copenhagen. And this is something verifiable, contrary to Nightstallions expertise -- 17:05, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

Another thing I need to clarify is: I have never been against writing a whole section about the inscription, and I cannot and will not hinder anybody in doing that. All I have said is, that I cannot contribute with anything beyond the translation, as it would be pure guessing. But I would find it interesting to read about it, if anybody had facts about an explanation of why the inscription talks about EU as one state. -- 07:30, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
and .. I forgot the obvious: "status" is the word used for constition, "rei publicae" means state. If it have been in the plural it should have been written something like "rerum publicarum". (I've been on the phone with a cand.mag. in latin). "Status" does not mean state, it can mean standing, or status as we use it today in english: "The status of this discussion today is ...". There is no word for constituion in latin, so status was probably the best word to use. -- 08:29, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
You are right that 'status of the European Republic' is a possible reading, though it would be an unusual thing to inscribe on an arch like the one in the picture. I don't think 'constitution' would be a likely reading, though. —Muke Tever talk (la.wiktionary) 20:44, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

I'm going to ignore the questioning of my intelligence (which I personally consider unnecessary and embarassing for *you*, but never mind). We're supposed to be working together here, not insult each other. Anyway, point is: status does not necessarily only mean "constitution". Even accepting that it might have been meant to translate as "constitution" in this case, "res publica europea" can then be assumed to mean "European Union". Which would result in no controversy, yet again. If you insist, I can ask my former Latin teacher to give me his opinion on this in writing, and scan it; he should be rather well known among Austrian linguists. Nightstallion 09:05, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

Im not an eurosceptic either, as you have claimed. And I will look past that as well. If we take the facts of the inscription it says: The standing (or situation) of the european state. Will you not agree? European Uninion would be something like "Europaea Unus" would it not? -- 09:24, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
I was, in fact, referring to the Danish MP who queried Rasmussen on this issue. Well, yes, they could also have translated it as Unio Europæa, so... Mh. I'm honestly not sure anymore as to whether this is ambiguous in two, three, or even more ways... Nightstallion 10:56, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

Well, I find it quite straightforward, as does a ph.d and a cand.mag. in latin. So lets put the translation under the picture, should we not? -- 11:34, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

Hmm, I was asked to input here...

  • "Europaeae rei publicae status" can mean either 'state of' or 'states of the European republic;' the plural of 'status' is 'status'.
  • That 'of the European Republic' is singular says nothing about the plurality of 'state' -- a republic may have many states; the USA is an example.
  • It is most likely that whoever wrote the phrase had either the singular or the plural in mind, but to one who does not know what was meant, it is ambiguous, unless put in a context which must indicate it, such as (grammatically) if it were the subject of a verb, or modified by an adjective, or (politically) if one state or multiple were clearly being referred to. (This may in fact be the case; I don't know enough about European politics to say.) Might it have been intentionally ambiguous?
  • As for the Latin professor, Danish or otherwise, I can't pretend to argue against him, but it's possible either the question or the answer might have been is like asking whether 'fish' or 'deer' is singular. The answer is 'yes' if you are asking if you have the form right, and 'maybe' if you are asking about the word on its own. —Muke Tever talk (la.wiktionary) 20:31, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

OK, I've been reading your discussion with interest. I may not have the credentials of Dr. Friis-Jensen, but I do know a thing or two about Latin. Nevertheless, ever since that image was first posted I have been trying to figure out what status is supposed to mean.

I think Muke Tever has made some good points here, especially as regards the argumentum ad verecundiam: without knowing the context of the question, it's hard to say what's professor meant. Likeise, since status is ambiguous, what is really relevant is what the composer of the phrase had in mind, not what some authority thinks.

THAT SAID, we are barking up the wrong tree here. has hit on the real answer:

"status" is the word used for constition, "rei publicae" means state.

This is absolutely correct. In Classical Latin, status never means "state" as in "country." It does have some sense that approach that meaning, e.g. "the condition of society," "public order," "political leanings of the population," "form of government," "existence of the republic," and so on.[7] Status rei publicae seems to have been a a favorite expression of Cicero's, with several meanings (see, for example, Cicero Fam. 13.68.1, 9.8.2. Sull. 11.33, Rep. 1.32.49 and so on). He uses it repeatedly in Rep to mean "form of government," or more relvantly "constitution." So I think is correct: EUROPAEAE REI PUBLICAE STATUS is intended to mean "Constitution of the European Republic."

Thanks for your learned input! A quick query, then: if Cicero uses rei publicæ status to mean 'constitution', might not Europææ rei publicae status therefore translate as 'Constitution for Europe' - which is, in fact, the title of the treaty in question? That translation would seem the most logical and politically obvious to me, and also avoids any controversial debate about how many states are in question. What do you think? Wombat 08:32, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
Even more simply, shouldn't it then be just "European Constitution"? Rd232 09:57, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Given that status means "constitution" here, it would be a little silly to translate it in the plural, even given that the word could technically be so. It is quite clearly intended to be singular. Any argument that status can be translated as either état or états is clearly based on the misconception that status means "state." It doesn't. If it had been intended to mean "state" it would honestly have been terrible Latin.

Should all this be discussed in the caption? Well, I don't know if it should, but given my love of the Latin language, I would lean towards given a transcription and translation somewhere. The misconceptions about what it means, if they are discussed at all, should really be brought up in another article though. --Iustinus 21:58, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

Thank you Muke and Iustinus for your input. And you are right about the context of the question, which I will hereby clarify: Karsten Friis-Jensen "has confirmed that the translation "EUROPAEAE REI PUBLICAE STATUS" to "the constitution of the european state" is correct". When I rang (I cant get hold of Karsten Friis-Jensen due to the summerhollidays) Niels Jørgen Green-Pedersen, who is a cand.mag. in latin, I asked him "what does EUROPAEAE REI PUBLICAE STATUS translate into?" He answered promptly "it translates into the constitution of the european state". -- 05:53, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
That would surely be a simple and forward explanation (the explanation Wombat gives higher up - I nearly didnt notice it), but still the state part (Rei Publicae) should have been in the plural (rerum publicarum), should it not? Cause EU is not one state is it? Cicero also used the word Constitio to refer to the word, constitution, and as far as this article refer[8] it is probably mostly the word "status" cicero has used as constition. But please I hope im wrong here. I really think its odd, that the european union now, with the signing of the treaty, should be one state. -- 11:37, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
As far as I can see, if rei publicæ status translates as 'constitution', there's no reason it should be in the plural. Wombat 14:35, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

I'm waiting for my flight at the Dallas airport, writing from just about the worst internet termnal I've ever seen, so please excuse any sloppines. I will also b replying to everyone in one fell swoop to the best of my ability. I did not mean to imply that Rei Publicae Status should be treated as one word. I suppose that in some contexts Rei Publice Status could be just "constitution" but I think generally it's going to mean status (however we translate it) of the res publica (however we translate it). Why is Res Publica singular here? I think whoever composed that phrase did not intend res publica to mean "state" or even "republic" but "commonwealth." This is indeed one of the meanings of respublica (res afterall can mean "wealth" and publica....) Likely this word was chosen because it seemed like the most Ciceronian way to render "Union." Likely status was chosen over constitutio for similar reasons, though I don't have time to research how Cicero uses these words differenty right now. So I suppose we could legitimately translate "CONSTITUTIION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMONWEALTH" --Iustinus 16:03, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Look, right here at Wiki: Res Publica. This is backing this last translation up. It seems to be the most logical solution. The funniest translation would be the literal: The standing of the thing of the European people. But I will leave that for now. Thanks for helping me clearing this out so far. -- 20:53, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
Aye, I'd go with Iustinus' translation. Nightstallion 00:00, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

Agreed, from a linguistic point of view: constitution of the European commonwealth seems the best (though I must admit to quite liking The standing of the thing of the European people). And from a pragmatic and political point of view, isn't it becoming obvious that the authors were simply looking for an idiomatic Latin way to translate 'Constitution for Europe' or 'Constitution for the European Union'? After all, there's no such thing as the European Commonwealth, so it looks to me like they went for the best Latin approximation of 'European Union'. I humbly submit that our translation should therefore read 'Constitution for the European Union', perhaps with a quick discussion of the literal meaning ('commonwealth'). Iustinus, thanks so much for your help, and I hope you caught your plane. Wombat 09:17, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

Well isn't that a bit tricky? I mean, we whish it said "constitution of the European Union", but that's not what it says, is it? I dont know ... wouldn that be a bit silly ... as Nigthstallion pointed out, then the inscription would be something like "Unio Europaeae Status". -- 17:16, 22 July 2005 (UTC)
Ha. Yes, I see what you mean. You think we should use "constitution of the commonwealth of Europe", then, as suggested by Iustinius and Nightstallion? I still think that using that translation would raise more questions than it answered, but in the interests of peace and harmony (and not going round in circles again) I'll agree to that unless there are any objections from the others. :o) Wombat 18:10, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

Well, they could've gone for Unionis Europææ Res Publicæ Status (Constitution of the European Union, using "res publicæ status" for constitution), but they didn't, maybe because they considered it too long or inelegant. I'd say "Constitution of the European Commonwealth" would be most true to the intended meaning, while making clear that it does not read "Constitution of Europe" or "Constitution of the European Union" verbatim. Nightstallion 19:46, 22 July 2005 (UTC)
Keep in mind that there are different styles of composing in Latin, and this one has clearly taken the tack (which is the usual one these days) of trying to be as classical as possible. The reason they did not pick Unionis Europaeae Status is that in Classical literature unio is never used to mean a political entity of any kind, nor indeed until very late is it even used to mean "union" (instead it usually means "the concept of the number one, a monad; the one-spot on a die; large single pearl; a type of onion."[9] Constitution of the European Onion?!) Of course confoederatio or some similar word might have worked just as well, but it's hard to find a more classical word that Res Publica. So how about this: "CONSTITUTION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMONWEALTH (i.e. Union)" or perhaps "Roughly: CONSTITUTION OF THE EUROPEAN UNION."
Btw,, the correct ridiculously literal translation would be more like "Standing of the European People's-Thing" ;)
And, Wombat thanks for the well wishes, I did make my flight. --Iustinus 22:08, 22 July 2005 (UTC)
Constitution of the European Commonwealth (i.e. Union) sounds good to me. I'll do it. Wombat 16:01, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
Looks like it got immediately deleted. --Iustinus 06:14, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
Along with a lot of other content. I'll revert. Nightstallion 11:29, 24 July 2005 (UTC)


On the page it says that Ireland's referendum has been postponed indefinetly, but on the official Irish site for the constitution it still says there will be one, but on an undecided date. So is the article right or is it the site, cause I'd be more inclined to go with the government site. - Gerbon689

I might be missing something here, but isn't that the same thing? "Postponed indefinitely" means "there will be one but it's not currently planned at any particular point in the future" - that's why it's different from "cancelled". Wouldn't you say? Wombat 08:21, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
I see your point it's just that "Postponed indefinetly" makes it sound like there might not be one at all. I just think "Date not Set" or something might be more appropriate. On one of the lists thats how its phrased, I can't remember which one though. - Gerbon689
Point taken. The problem is, "Date not set" makes it sound like they never intended to set a date; the advantage of "postponed" is that it makes it clear plans have changed. (Besides, official lines notwithstanding, the reason they've postponed indefinitely is so that they can decide whether or not to hold one at all!) We really need something like "Postponed until an unspecified future date", but that's far too long and sounds weaselly. Does anyony have any better ideas? Wombat 14:31, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
"Decision on date postponed"? Or something along those lines. I do agree, however, that there needs to be a difference between "postponed indefinitely" and Ireland's case. Nightstallion 14:34, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
How about "Date not set yet". To me it seems to give the strong impression that there definetly will be one and the date will be set, eventually. Anybody have any problems with that? - Gerbon689

"Emergency brake" clause[edit]

I have heard there is a so-called "Emergency brake" clause in the Constitution.

This clause states that every member state can request European Council to reconsider a measure passed under the Qualified Majority Vote system.

The European Council then has to make it's decision unanimously.

This clause in fact gives veto power to every member state.

Is this true ?

--Siyac 16:49, 1 Sep 2005 (UTC)


Does anyone actually know the status of Belgiums ratification of the EU constitution? It seems people are just putting it forward at the end of every month that it is not passed by parliament.

That's because there's little information. The only federal house that's still missing is the Flemish Community, and as far as I've been able to find information on the internet, they still haven't ratified, so we can't really do much more than move them to next month every first day. ;) Flag of Austria.svg ナイトスタリオン ㇳ–ㇰ 19:08, 8 September 2005 (UTC

How did the two other parliaments vote? As in how many to how many? Could you put up this information?

I'm afraid I don't know and haven't been able to find out, to my dismay. The information is not on the German wikipedia, either, since they don't list the actual voting results. Sorry... Flag of Austria.svg ナイトスタリオン ㇳ–ㇰ 08:00, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

Could you not try the regional parliaments web-sites?

The flemish parliament ratified the European Constitution a couple of weeks ago. I heard it on local radio. That makes Belgium a full ratifier, iirc. Wouter Lievens 12:49, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Klopt, zo staat het ook al in het artikel. Maar het moet nog ondertekend worden door de koning voordat het werkelijk van kracht wordt... Maartenvdbent 14:04, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
(translation by Wouter Lievens) Correct, the article says that. But the ratification has to be signed by the king before it is legally enforced.
Maarten, this is the English wikipedia. Write in English. Wouter Lievens 16:00, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Presidential Signature[edit]

Is it worth including a column on presidential signature and whether the document has been signed off by the president? If so, Slovakia, Germany and Austria have not had their approval of the constitution finalised by presidential signature.

To the best of my knowledge (and I'm Austrian and interested in politics), Bundespräsident Fischer has already signed the law. Confer this link (in German). It's true, however, that the German president hasn't, and that there's a challenge to the constitutional challenge in the works in Slovakia. Feel free to include that, dear anonymous. ;) Flag of Austria.svg ナイトスタリオン ㇳ–ㇰ 19:08, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

I included the column but I can't be sure which countries have had the constitution signed off (by the country president). Are we sure Austria's president (Wolfgang) has signed it off?

Yes, we can. Read the link I gave you (sorry it's in German, couldn't find anything English quickly), or just believe me. AFAIK, there's also a constitutional challenge in Slovakia, but I'm not sure about it. Oh, and BTW: Fischer's first name is Heinz, not Wolfgang. Wolfgang is Schüssel's first name. ;p Flag of Austria.svg ナイトスタリオン ㇳ–ㇰ 19:17, 10 September 2005 (UTC)
Hang on a minute. All this information about president (or, rather, head of state) signatures is useful, but I don't think it's accurate to put "No" in the column for either Germany or Slovakia. To an outside observer, this looks like ratification has failed, just as it failed in France and the Netherlands. But the actual situation is that the head of state hasn't signed it yet, pending a legal challenge, so ratification is uncertain. Instead of saying "No" in that column, we ought to say "Pending" or just leave it blank until the issue is resolved. We should only use "No" when a final decision has been taken. (I made changes to that effect, but the anonymous user above reverted them.) Wombat 10:25, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
Agreed, of course. Flag of Austria.svg ナイトスタリオン ㇳ–ㇰ 10:32, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

Har har har its the "anonymous user above"! I agree with your changes.

Thanks, good stuff. By the way, did you know, you can sign your posts here by typing ~~~~ at the end? That inserts your username, date and time, and means you are no longer just another anonymous voice in the ether... Like this: Wombat 18:10, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

Upper, Lower[edit]

I was thinking that instead of putting upper or lower we could put the actual names of the parliaments. For example...Senate, or Bundesrat etc. What do people think of that?

Advantages: it gives more information and gives readers a clearer starting point for their own research. Disadvantages: it makes the different countries less easily comparable, and would make it difficult for non-experts to assess the importance of a particular vote (if I didn't know what the Bundesrat was, I wouldn't know whether this was Germany's highest parliament or merely a regional assembly voting in favour).
By the way, don't forget to sign your posts with ~~~~. Cheers. Wombat 09:23, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Referendum Postponed Indefinitely[edit]

I think the map should have all countries that have postponed ratification indefinitely changed to the brown colour and labelled as "ratification postponed indefinitely" rather than only "referendum postponed indefinitely" as it is now.

Neutral Point of View[edit]

You editors have done a fine job in conveying so much so clearly about so complex a subject - thanks and well done. However, the article as a whole comes across as skewed in favour of TCE throughout. For example, every criticism is refuted so that the conclusion appears to be against the criticism. Since the subject is so controversial, I somehow doubt that the pro-Constitution thrust of the article can fairly represent a Neutral Point of View.Chelseaboy 22:40, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

french greens[edit]

it seems to me than the official opinion of the greens was pro-constitution.

Revival Proposals and reactions[edit]

Should be mentioned. See:

Sijo Ripa 12:20, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

What do you think?[edit]

With regards to the map maybe it would be better to colour all the countries that have postponed ratification, either by parliament or by refferendum, and change the key from refferendum postponed indefinatly to ratification postponed indefinatly.

Could someone do this?

German reappraisal[edit]

The BBC reports that Angela Merkel is now indicating that she wants to restart discussion on the Constitution, probably due to Estonia's recent ratification.

It seems that this paragraph at least should be altered:

"Debate about future possibilities for the Constitution

Four options present themselves. One is to do nothing for the time being in order to allow the dust to settle: this seems to be the position favoured by the United Kingdom and Germany."

This doesn't seem to be the case any more, at least for Germany. I imagine that this is a sign of more action to come, with other leaders probably making comments and altering/reaffirming their positions, etc

Packersh 15:50, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Finland ???[edit]

Realy ratified already, or only "first vote"? See Treaty of Accession 2005 and its discussion page... 19:24, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

According to newspaper reports in Austria the Finnish parliament approved the treaty. If it was just the first vote (what the reports didn't mention), feel free to revert my edits. Gugganij 20:52, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
You've been reading the newspapers wrong (I've read the same papers =]). It was only the first vote; now the government has to recommend ratification, then the parliament will ratify it in a second vote. —Nightstallion (?) 21:01, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, my fault. Gugganij 14:11, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
No harm done, no problem. ;) —Nightstallion (?) 07:18, 17 May 2006 (UTC)


Slovakia has already signed off the constitution by head of state, hence why it WAS changed from Pending. The German legal challenge is over! The reason it is still Pending is because Germany wants to wait and see what happens in the future before finishing the process. Belgium is also still Pending. nightstallion (?)

The two comments above were not made by me. —Nightstallion (?) 08:00, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Hi. I'm Proffessor Dr. R.J. Larson of the Department for Cultural and European Studies at Lund University in Sweden. I would like to add to this so called talk that the comments on the Pending status of the charter are entirely correct. The Slovakian Head of State has indeed signed off the constitution and the German legal challenge was a complete farce that failed miserably in court. However, Germany has yet to sign off the charter and that is also the case for the neighbouring Belgium. I hope you can excuse my not giving a username but I have only recently discovered this website and do not know the ins and outs as of yet. DR. R.J.

The Slovak President has *not* signed the treaty yet. [17]Nightstallion (?) 09:17, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

There is NO legal challenge in Germany anymore[[18]] also can we have actuall proof of Belgium and Estonia as it seems people are just adding whatever they think rather than what they actually KNOW!

Belgium and Estonia parliaments have adopted the treaty. Only ratification by head of states is pending. For links about parliamentary votes see in the history of the page - the description of the edits, when the "Yes-mark" was added... 12:06, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

If you read there you will find, that the presidents of Slowakia and Belgium signed already and Estonias president will sign during this year. In Germany the president is waiting for a decission of the highest german court.--GLGerman 12:32, 25 July 2006 (UTC)GLGerman

Prodi: Significant changes to the draft treaty?[edit] Should we include this somehow? —Nightstallion (?) 10:38, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Yes. Done. --Rye1967 19:07, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. —Nightstallion (?) 18:30, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Some questions[edit]

The article reads:

President of the Commission - the candidate for President of the European Commission would be proposed by the European Council, after consultation with MEPs, and would be elected by the European Parliament. Parliament would have the final say.

Is this not how things are already though?


Budget - the final say over the EU's annual budget would be given to the European Parliament. Agricultural spending would no longer be ring-fenced, and would be brought under the Parliament's control.

Does the EP not already have 'the final say' even if some bits are not covered? thanks Sjjb 20:00, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

and what is the deal with criminal justice proceedings? It says in this article that seven new areas will be added but under Three_pillars_of_the_European_Union most of these things are already there. Does it mean these will be more...supranational? thanks again --20:20, 24 June 2006 (UTC)Sjjb

Simplifying this article[edit]

Hi, extracting and making a list of all the concepts in this draft is a huge work, commenting all parts also. Therefore I suggested removing all comments of details the draft into other and new articles (like "Annexes to the European Constitution" and so on...). Thus this article would only concern what regards the whole constitution, for instance the procedures it underwent.

For the same motive of readability, I suggest removing from this discussion page the part on the US constitution.-- 14:45, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Crap Map[edit]

Maybe red for all countries that have postponed ratification otherwise it looks like countries like Sweden are still planning to ratify. See this [19]


Ok whose idea was it to shorten the constitution to the TCE? It just seems so ridiculous! It is only ever here that I have seen it referred to in this way. Wikipedia editors cannot simply invent an abbreviation that is not even in use let alone popular use. We are supposed to represent a pooling of existing information not make things up. It should be referred to as the Constitution as this is what it is commonly referred to! Please someone change this...I'm sorry but the abbreviation just makes me cringe, it is so crude and unintelligible!

Question marks for the table?[edit]

Would is not be nice to have some question marks for the states where ratification of the contract is still pending? See here: -- 17:43, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

no one answers these anymore

Ratification table[edit]

A new ratification table was added. It includes all the details of the ratification process as far as parliaments and referenda are concerned, including references to relevant primary sources. I have tried to make as complete and uncomplicated as possible. Let me know if you have any suggestions or any problems occur. In addition I would like to know if you think the tables for acceding countries and ratification by referenda need to remain. Herzog Tryn 14:35, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

I do not understand this article[edit]

After reading it I couldnt get a clear idea yet of what is the problem. Could someone explain to a foreigner with are the main factors of being rejected in France,Netherlands,... thks --Jor70 16:01, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

      Well, the answer is pretty simple: massive right-wing propaganda... _Vienna, 3. May 2007, 17:45

External link on top[edit]

I really don't like this article with an external link on it's first sentence. This is an encycopedia article not a link directory. An external link to the full text of proposed constitution in "External links" section would be enough. In this way every article should start with an external link to it's official website. Hessam 09:33, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Hessam, the point is not to link to an official website. The point is to link to the text of the document. When I first came to this Wikipedia article, I wanted to see what the proposed European Constitution says. I wanted to read it. Unfortunately, that meant I had to hunt for a link.
Therefore, I inserted a footnote [1] linking to the full text. Another user deleted it. Then I instead did an internal link to Wikisource. Either way is fine with me. The point is that people should be easily led to the text of the document.
Also, I don't think it's quite accurate to call a Wikisource link an "external" link.Ferrylodge 13:25, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Before your first edit, this page was (and is) the first link on the external link section. That reference was a duplicate link. For this article, I think it's better for readers to get familiar with subject (before leaving article) and after that they can find full text of the proposed constitution in next sections. Hessam 16:19, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Hi Hessam, I agree with you that this page should remain the first link in the external link section; however, the Inter-Wiki link should be somewhere in the first paragraph. Please note that "duplicating an important link distant from a previous occurrence in an article, may well be appropriate."
Some readers will want to get familiar with the subject before leaving the article, and other readers may want to look at the legal text right away. They should be able to easily choose, I think. The external links are very distant from the beginning of the article.Ferrylodge 17:07, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Cosmetics ban?[edit]

Can anyone tell me why the EU has issued a ban on testing cosmetics on animals? I saw somewhere that it had something to do with the seventh amendment of their constitution, but (maybe because there's a lot of text here and I can't quite find the right place) I can't find anything here. Any help would be appreciated. -- Maethon (talk) 20:35, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

It can't have been to do with the Constitution, since it hasn't been ratified. 10:56, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Consttreat.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

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BetacommandBot (talk) 05:15, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

100 Prozent Zustimmung Vergleich 2005 Bundesregierung Schröder[edit]

Reference in Codecision procedure[edit]

The article Codecision procedure gives reference to the European constitution as though it is still a future possibility. The exact wording is:

"The new Treaty establishing a constitution for Europe, if it enters into force, will extend codecision to virtually all areas of EU policy."

Should this be changed to reflect similar wording in this article Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe? mdkarazim (talk) 17:19, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

pending ratification?[edit]

The treaty has been abandoned in 2007. Still, some of the entries in the ratification table claim that it is "pending". How is that possible? — Emil J. 12:53, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Critic section[edit]

I miss a section 'Critic of <subject>' which otherwise is quite common in wikipedia. That is, the most urgent arguments againt the TCE. It should not only cover general issues but also specific critical provisions which lead to opposing it as a whole in referenda.

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