Outline the Key Elements and Critically Assess the Draft Reform Treaty (Constitutional Treaty) of the European Union.

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Outline the Key Elements and Critically Assess the Draft Reform Treaty (Constitutional Treaty) of the European Union.As the twenty-first century dawned it became evident to some of the European Union leaders that the European Union was in need of a major review.   The final declaration of the Treaty of Nice in 2001 highlighted the need for a deeper and wider debate about the future of Europe.The Laeken declaration 2001 established a convention of the future of Europe to “Improve democracy, transparency and efficiency and to prepare a constitution for the European citizens.”   This convention which was held from February 2002 and June 2003 produced a proposal for the ‘Constitutional Treaty for Europe’.In October 2003 an Intergovernmental Conference began the task of approving this draft proposal, however by December an agreement could not be reached.   When the Irish presidency began in 2004 there was a new and invigorated attempt to complete the negotiations.   Although there were arguments and disagreements this was finally achieved and on the 29 October 2004 the 25 member states and three candidate countries signed the Treaty.A new Constitution for Europe had been established, it had still however to be ratified by all 25 member states. The Constitutional Treaty was divided into four sections plus the Preamble. There was disagreement about whether or not there should be a mention to either God or Christianity.   Although neither got included there is still some debate and petitions surrounding the issue.   The first section deals with the definition of the objectives, powers, decision-making procedures and institutions. For the first time the European Union will have a legal personality.   This means it can attend international conventions and conferences as a body rather than as at present Member States.   All the European Union symbols are already in place a flag, motto, currency and European Day would remain and be unaffected by the decision to ratify the Treaty or not.   European citizenship is defined as additional to and not in place of citizenship of a Member country.The Treaty also sets out the competence of the European Union areas and how it can act on the behalf of Member States.   It also defines the competence as exclusive, shared and coordinating.   The Treaty does not change the existing situation but it brings it altogether and clarifies the nature of European Union competence in different policy areas.   The
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European Union institutions European Parliament, Council and Commission are already clearly defined.   The major change in this section is that the European Council (made up of Heads of States or government of Member States) is set up as a separate institution.   A President will be appointed for two and a half years and he/she must not hold office within a Member State Government.   The Council of Ministry, made up of the relevant government ministers who meet in various configurations to discuss differing issues remains unchanged.   This is still to be chaired by the Member States holding the Presidency and will ...

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