Germany’s Political Position Towards Future European Constitution
|The necessity of a European Constitution
|Germany's objectives for the Constitution
|Policy aimed at introducing the Constitution
Since the very creation of a closer cooperation between the European countries after the World War II, various discussions about the future image of Europe. Right after the war federalists spoke about the creation of the United European States similar of those of USA. The actual integration of Europe has taken a slower and slightly different path.
European integration was first an economical one and only after it proved its success, the more political aspects came into debate. A more political sense of the European cooperation organizations can be seen nowadays. The most visible one is the EU.
EU's actions till now have been defined by several treaties like the Single European Act, the Maastricht Treaty and treaties of Amsterdam and Nice. These are broad documents, which underlie the functions and institutions of the EU. The Project of the European Constitution was an attempt to make a single document, which shows the way EU should work and fix the present problems.
Germany has been the main European Integration force since the time of Conrad Adenauer and his Westpolitik. More or less this policy has continued since then, but only until the reunification of Germany its objectives were more seriously taken in account. The last 15 years have been most influential for Germany as well as the proposition for the European Constitution.
1. The necessity of a European Constitution.
The European Constitution project combines many former EU functions and also would bring new changes in the EU. Now the Constitution ratification process has now stopped starting with Frances 'no' in May 2005. Despite the fact there still is a possibility to resume the Constitution ratification process by making some corrections. Although there are still discussions about this, no visible action is being carried out, so for the time being we can consider this process as stopped.
The most obvious quality of the Constitution, although not a very appealing one, is that it would replace the ill-fated Nice Treaty that currently governs the. It can be regarded that Nice agreement left the Union without effective decision-making rules and reinforced the view that was a thing for policy-makers and bureaucrats, not for the people. National sovereignty is protected on key issues such as defense, immigration, employment and tax policies. Finally the right to withdraw from the according to national constitutions is explicitly stated.
The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. The Union’s aim is to promote peace, its values and the well-being of its peoples; therefore a separate chapter of the Constitution was devoted to the Human rights. The Constitution was supposed to prove that the Union shall offer its citizens an area of freedom, security and justice without internal frontiers and an internal market where competition is free and undistorted. Generally speaking, the approach of the Constitutional Treaty to the clarification of structures is seen as a positive move in the right direction.
The main criticism of the Constitutional Treaty is that a 470-page thick document that nobody except a few lawyers will read, hardly deserves the name ‘Constitution’. The term is uppermost used for the fundamental laws of a state, not an international organization. A political union requires the support of the European peoples, which this lengthy and wordy piece of work is unlikely to attract. Even the noble Charter of Fundamental Rights can be criticizes, because besides the fundamental rights proposed in the 18th century it puts on the same level human dignity the freedom of thought, the right to conduct business, the right to vocational training and the right of access to free placement services.
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