The draft Constitutional Treaty breaks down into three parts: the constitutional architecture per se, policy and the implementation of EU actions, general and final provisions, along with any appropriate protocols.

Besides a preamble, the constitutional architecture would include ten headings and 46 articles. The first article would give the future European entity its name, four alternatives being proposed: European Community, European Union, United States of Europe, United Europe, Valery Giscard d'Estaing having already signalled his preference for the last option. The project indicates that it would be a "Union of European states, retaining their national identity, closely co-ordinating their policies at the European level, managing certain joint responsibilities along federal lines".

Provided with a single legal personality, this entity would confer dual citizenship, European and national, whilst the laws on which it is based would take precedence over national laws in the exercise of the responsibilities allocated to it, the various categories of which are defined. The role of national parliaments would explicitly be to exercise control over the principle of subsidiarity. The Charter of Fundamental Rights would be included either explicitly or implicitly according to the conclusions of on-going work by the Convention. There would be a single institutional framework, though constitutional provisions would vary from the current Treaties in this respect, notably with specific articles for the Council Presidency on the one hand and the European Council on the other, the composition and missions of these two bodies also being the object of separate articles. The same would go for the Commission and its President. The principal innovation remains the scope for establishing a European People's Congress, the precise composition and responsibilities of which have still to be defined.

This constitutional part would also include a description of legal instruments and adoption procedures, differentiated according to policies, with notably three distinct procedures concerning Common Foreign and Security Policy, common defence policy and judicial co-operation in criminal cases. It would include a budgetary heading, providing for an own-resources system, a heading outlining Europe's good neighbourly relations with adjacent third countries and another the notion of belonging to Europe, including a suspension clause where Member States fail to honour fundamental rights and a voluntary withdrawal clause.

The second part would set out appropriate legal bases for the implementation of Europe's responsibilities consistent with procedures defined in the first part. Visa, asylum and immigration policy would fall under the Internal Market, external action would embrace commercial policy, CFSP and the conclusion of international agreements, but defence would be covered by a specific chapter. According to President Giscard d'Estaing, of the 414 Articles in the current Treaties, his project would leave 205 unchanged, 136 should...

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