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Institutional aspects of the Constitutional Treaty - which way does it go?
University of Exeter
Bracton Law Journal
University of Exeter, School of Law
Following the presentation of the draft Constitutional Treaty by the convention chaired by Giscard d’Estaing, in September 2003 the United Kingdom government published a White Paper on the British Approach to the Intergovernmental Conference. The overall approach of the UK government to the draft Treaty was clearly summarised by the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, when he introduced the White Paper to the House of Commons on 9 September 2003. He there stated that “the proposals in the current draft Treaty do not change the fundamental relationship between the EU and its Member States; and on any analysis it involves less change than that in Maastricht and the Single European Act”. With the benefit of hindsight, it is interesting to observe that on that basis he suggested that there was no need for a referendum, and that the outcome of the IGC should be decided upon by Parliament. Whatever the vagaries of domestic politics which have led to the 2004 Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe which resulted from the Intergovernmental Conference being subject to a referendum in the UK, that Treaty does in fact effect a number of institutional changes which taken together may be regarded as of some importance.
Bracton L.J. 2005, 37, 30-40