Select Committee on European Union Ninth Report


25 FEBRUARY 2003

By the Select Committee appointed to consider European Union documents and other matters relating to the European Union.



CONV 528/03  Draft of Articles 1 to 16 of the Constitutional Treaty


Purpose of Report

1.  The purpose of this Report is to bring to the attention of the House the draft Treaty Articles now being discussed in the Convention on the Future of Europe. The text of many if not all of the draft Articles is likely to change over the coming weeks and months. Nonetheless the Committee[1] takes the view that the House might welcome sight of the text as soon as possible together with the preliminary reactions and observations of the Committee.

2.  It seems likely that the text of the new Treaty will appear in stages. As drafts of groups of Articles are settled by the Praesidium, the Convention steering group, they will be made available for discussion in the Convention plenary. The objective is to reach consensus on a draft (complete) Treaty by the end of June. Bringing forward draft Articles in groups may not be ideal—they cannot be considered in the round and the effect of the broad provisions in Part One (Constitutional Structure) of the draft Treaty may not be comprehensible without seeing the detail in Part Two (Union Policies and their Implementation).[2] But it appears to be the most practical way of achieving that objective and of enabling the fullest debate in the Convention, national parliaments and more generally.

3.  Set out below is the text of each of the first 16 Articles. Each Article is followed by an Explanatory note (the text of which has been prepared by the Convention Secretariat) and a Commentary added by the Committee.

4.  The ordering of the first 16 Articles follows that of the Preliminary draft Constitutional Treaty[3] ("the skeleton text") published in October last year. The skeleton text is reproduced in Appendix 2.

  1. We make this Report to the House for information.

1   See Appendix 1 for membership of the European Union Committee and of Sub-Committee E (Law and Institutions) which undertook the detailed scrutiny work. Back

2   It is also proposed that there will be a Part Three (General and Final Provisions). Back

3   Doc. CONV 369/02. 28 October 2002. Back

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