Le Futur constitutionnel de l'Europe

La semaine dernière, le Président de la Convention européenne, M. Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, a proposé un "squelette" pour la future constitution de l'Europe. Tous les ingrédients d'une constitution - valeurs, principes, droits des citoyens, les compétences de l'Union et ses institutions constitutifs, etc. - y sont inscrits. Ce document existe en dépit du fait que le mandat de la Convention ne donne aucun pouvoir à ses délégués pour produire une constitution. Selon la Déclaration de Nice, à laquelle je pris part en qualité de premier ministre participant, nous ne devions que simplifier et restructurer les traités fondamentaux de l'UE.

Selon le fonctionnement de la C onvention, notre mandat fut transformé à la suite de diverses pressions. Ces pressions viennent des pays membres, des organisations de la société civile, et de lettres, de documents et de courriers électroniques en provenance de l'Europe toute entière. C'est la pression populaire qui a changé notre mandat. Quand c'est le ministre des affaires étrangères de la Grande-Bretagne, pays qui s'enorgueillit depuis des siècles de ne pas avoir de constitution écrite, qui réclame lui-même une constitution européenne écrite, alors, oui, les temps changent !

Pourtant, des chercheurs universitaires tels que Ralph Dahrendorf et Joseph Weiler suggèrent qu'une constitution européenne n'a pas de sens puisqu'une constitution démocratique nécessite un sentiment d'identité commune suprême qui manque à l'UE, où les loyautés nationales individuelles ont encore cours. D'autres, comme Robert Dahl, soutiennent que la démocratie se fonde sur des communautés plus petites elles-mêmes fondées sur des intérêts partagés et des relations personnelles. Pour eux, l'Europe semble être trop grande pour donner naissance à des institutions réellement démocratiques.

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