In June 1948, François de Menthon, Chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliamentary Union (EPU), which has the task of drawing up a ‘Constitution for the United States of Europe’, submits the final text of a Draft European Constitution to Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi, Secretary-General of the EPU.
On 7 January 1953, the French Delegates Henri Frenay, Paul Reynaud and François de Menthon (left to right) consider together in Strasbourg the work of the Ad Hoc Assembly for the establishment of a European Political Community (EPC).
The European Parliament's drafts for a Constitution
On 14 February 1984, by a very large majority (237 votes to 31, with 43 abstentions), the European Parliament adopts the draft Treaty establishing the European Union, also known as the ‘Spinelli draft’, named after the Italian MP and Chairman of the Committee on Institutional Affairs which was responsible for the drawing up of the draft Treaty.
By this Resolution of 11 July 1990, the European Parliament decides to draw up a draft constitution for the European Union on the basis of the main points of the Spinelli draft treaty of 14 February 1984 and in accordance with guidelines laid down by Parliament to take account of the experience of the Single European Act.
On 9 February 1994, the Belgian MEP Fernand Herman, on behalf of the Committee on Institutional Affairs for which he is rapporteur, submits a draft Constitution of the European Union to the European Parliament.
In its resolution of 10 February 1994, the European Parliament ‘notes with satisfaction’ the work of the Committee on Institutional Affairs which has resulted in a draft Constitution for the European Union, as submitted by its rapporteur, Fernand Herman, and annexes the draft to the resolution so that it may be as widely disseminated as possible.
On 4 November 1999, Johannes Rau, President of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), publishes an article in the French daily newspaper Le Monde in which he declares himself in favour of a federal Europe which seeks better distribution of powers and authority.
On 19 January 2000, in a interview for the French daily newspaper Le Monde, Jacques Delors, President of the European Commission from 1985 to 1995, calls for a Federation of Nation States in order to allow a core of nations to make more rapid progress in an enlarged Europe.
On 8 February 2000, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, President of the Italian Republic, recommends in an article published in the German daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that a deepening of the European Union should take place before any further enlargement.
On 10 April 2000, in an article published in the French daily newspaper Le Figaro, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, former President of the French Republic, and Helmut Schmidt, former Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), give their views on the institutional reforms that need to be implemented in order to prepare the European Union for its forthcoming enlargement.
In a speech delivered on 12 May 2000 at the Humboldt University in Berlin, Joschka Fischer, German Foreign Minister, speaks in a private capacity in the debate on the future of the European Union. He proposes that a constitutional treaty be concluded which establishes a European Federation based on the principle of subsidiarity.
On 13 May 2000, the French daily newspaper Le Figaro comments on the address given by Joschka Fischer, German Foreign Minister, in which he proposes, in a personal capacity, the conclusion of a Constitutional Treaty establishing a European Federation based on the principle of subsidiarity.
On 11 June 2000, Hubert Védrine, French Foreign Minister, gives his response to the proposals submitted the previous day by his German counterpart, Joschka Fischer, on the aims of the European Union and gives his own views on the notions of federation and a Federation of Nation States.
On 10 June 2000, commenting on the address delivered by Joschka Fischer, German Foreign Minister, on the ultimate goal of European integration, the historian, Rudolf von Thadden, Head of Franco-German relations in the Foreign Ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), outlines in the French daily newspaper Le Monde the different connotations of the word ‘federalism’ in France and Germany.
On 16 June 2000, in the French daily newspaper Le Figaro, Alain Juppé, former French Prime Minister, and Jacques Toubon, former Justice Minister, present and outline their Gaullist-inspired draft Constitution for Europe.
In an address given in the Bundestag on 27 June 2000 in Berlin, Jacques Chirac, French President, announces the start of a transitional phase towards an institutional recasting of the European Union. Chirac proposes that an initial consideration seeking the restructuring of the treaties, open to all, might pave the way for the first European Constitution. The French President also suggests the setting up of a ‘pioneer group’ of countries which, together with Germany and France, would take part in all forms of enhanced cooperation.
During a state visit to Berlin on 26 and 27 June 2000, Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic, gives an address to the Bundestag in which he sets out his views on European issues just days before the start of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
On 28 June 2000, the German daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung comments on the French President Jacques Chirac’s address to the Bundestag on the future of the European Union and refers back to the German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer’s speech given on 12 May in Berlin.
On 29 June 2000, the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit compares the French President Jacques Chirac’s speech on the prospects for the European Union with the speech given by the German Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer, in Berlin on 12 May 2000.
On 30 June 2000, commenting on the current debates on the future of the European Union, the German daily newspaper Die Welt, emphasises that the concept of a ‘European Constitution’ requires the existence of a European people, who, according to this article, does not exist.
On 29 June 2000, the Luxembourg daily newspaper Tageblatt reviews the French President Jacques Chirac’s address on the future of Europe given to the Bundestag on 27 June 2000 and calls it a turning point in French European policy.
In July 2000, in an article in the journal Affari Esteri, Giuliano Amato, Italian Prime Minister, comments on the address delivered by Joschka Fischer on the ultimate aim of European integration. On 12 May 2000, the German Foreign Minister had suggested the conclusion of a constitutional treaty establishing a European Federation.
On 6 July 2000, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, President of the Italian Republic, gives a speech at the University of Leipzig in which he declares himself in favour of a European Constitution which, in his view, will demonstrate in particular the dynamics of the Community process and will strengthen the democratic legitimacy of the European Union.
On 21 September 2000, in Brussels, Guy Verhofstadt, Prime Minister of Belgium, presents his vision of Europe and suggests, amongst other things, that a declaration signed by the Fifteen be drawn up to indicate where the ultimate goal of the European Union lies.
On 3 October 2000, in the run-up to the Biarritz European Council on 13 and 14 October, Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission, expounds his views on the reform of the Community institutions.
In a speech delivered in Warsaw on 6 October 2000, the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, upholds the vision of a European Union which, while retaining its unique intergovernmental and supranational structure, will become a superpower comprising equal partner Nation States but not a superstate. In his opinion, in place of a European Constitution, it would be preferable to draw up a statement of principles, serving as a charter of competences, which would be a political, not a legal document.
On 7 October 2000, the British daily newspaper The Guardian compares the vision of Europe that the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, outlined the previous day in Warsaw with the former French President Charles de Gaulle's Europe des patries (Europe of the Nations).
On 7 October 2000, commenting on a speech given by the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, in Warsaw, the French daily newspaper Le Figaro analyses the British view on the future of the European Union and compares it with that of its European partners.
On 1 February 2001, Vaclav Havel, President of the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic from 1990 to 1992, then of the Czech Republic from 1993 to 2003, and Jacques Delors, President of the European Commission from 1985 to 1995, discuss the ‘coexistence model’ for Member States of the European Union.
On 4 April 2001, Johannes Rau, President of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), gives an address to the European Parliament in which he calls for the adoption of a federalist-inspired Constitution in order to make the European Union more effective and closer to its citizens.
On 5 April 2001, the German daily newspaper Die Welt comments on the model of the European Constitution outlined by the German President, Johannes Rau, the previous day in the European Parliament and compares it to the one put forward by German Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer, on 12 May 2000 in Berlin.
On 6 April 2001, referring to a speech made by the German President, Johannes Rau, on the adoption of a federal-inspired Constitution for the European Union, the Bavarian daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung calls for the convening of a Convention entrusted with the task of drawing up a European Constitution.
On 16 May 2001, the German daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung analyses the proposals on the future of the European Union put forward by Joschka Fischer, German Foreign Minister; Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic; Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, President of the Italian Republic; Tony Blair, British Prime Minister; Johannes Rau, President of the Federal Republic of Germany; and Gerhard Schröder, German Chancellor.
In a speech delivered in Paris on 28 May 2001, Lionel Jospin, French Prime Minister, expresses support for the vision of the European Union as a ‘Federation of Nation States’ and for a proposed European Constitution, the drafting of which would be entrusted to a Convention, following the method used to draw up the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
On 29 May 2001, the Brussels daily newspaper Le Soir compares the contradictory plans for the future of the European Union put forward by Lionel Jospin, French Prime Minister; Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic; Joschka Fischer, German Foreign Minister; Tony Blair, British Prime Minister; and Guy Verhofstadt, Belgian Prime Minister.
On 29 May 2001, in the Belgian daily newspaper Le Soir, Denis MacShane, Labour MP and Tony Blair’s adviser on European affairs, comments on the position of the British Prime Minister on the French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin’s proposals on the institutional and economic future of an enlarged Europe.
On 29 May 2001, the French daily newspaper Le Monde comments on a speech given by the French Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin, the previous day in Paris in favour of a European Union founded on a ‘Federation of Nation States’ to ensure the smooth running of an enlarged Europe.
On 1 August 2001, the German daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung publishes an article by Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg Prime Minister, in which he joins the debate on the goal of the European integration process.
On 23 November 2001, British daily newspaper The Guardian publishes Tony Blair's speech at the European Research Institute during a national debate on the future of Europe. The British Prime Minister reflects on the history of European integration and calls on the United Kingdom to take an active part in the ongoing democratic reform.