Essay about Transatlantic Constitutions: Comparing the US and the EU

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At the Laeken European Council of December 2001, government and state leaders of the European Union (EU) Member States decided to draft a `Constitutional Treaty' for the EU. The draft would then be discussed, amended, approved or rejected by an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) held in 2003. The aim of Fabbrini's article is thus to contribute to the understanding of the constitutional evolution of the EU through a comparison with the constitutional experience of the United States. Worth noting is the fact that there originally were two American constitutions, that the EU does not yet have a formal constitution; but also that the similarities between the constitutionalization process of the two powers are so similar that they warrant a…show more content…
Also introduced in the Preamble to the American constitution was the idea of a "republican government", which basically means that the document would first and foremost represent a "covenant" among the people, a step that generally is seen as necessary to the good implementation of a constitution: "Thus a constitution involves implementing a prior covenant-effectuating or translating a prior covenant into an actual frame of government." (Fabbrini, 2004, p.549) This means that the power has to be derived from the people: in short, the constitution IS the people and stems from their wishes and desires. That is why, for example, "Governors have to operate within the institutional constraints defined by citizens through their constitution." (Fabbrini, 2004, p.549) Going back to the "American Way" of doing things, the constitution is a written document that is separate from other legal texts since: <ol> <li value="1"> It surpasses ALL other legal texts <li value="2"> It considers matters that are more fundamental then others <li value="3"> It is very hard to modify (only under "stringent amendment procedures") </ol> Although the American democratic model is popular, many countries (like New Zealand, France, Hungary, Israel) have adapted it to suit their specific needs. A common thread among all these constitutions is that every one of them serves to regulate fundamental matters, although not only such matters nor all
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