Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

The EU Constitution - a more social Europe? Kathleen Spencer Chapman, 26 th October 2004.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "The EU Constitution - a more social Europe? Kathleen Spencer Chapman, 26 th October 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 The EU Constitution - a more social Europe? Kathleen Spencer Chapman, 26 th October 2004

2 Does the EU need a Constitution? Simplify decision-making structures and processes – Nice Treaty not sufficient Formalise in one document the EU legal order Increase transparency and democracy New provisions

3 How was the Constitution developed? Convention on the Future of Europe - more democratic and transparent – produced first draft July 2003 Inter-governmental conference (IGC) made changes before agreeing final text in June 2004

4 Structure of the Constitution Part I - definition & objectives of the EU, citizenship, competences, institutions and bodies, democratic life, finances, EU & neighbours, EU membership Part II – Charter of Fundamental Rights Part III – Policies and Functioning Part IV – General and Final Provisions

5 Evaluating the Constitution Compare the Constitution with existing situation – Treaty of Nice From social NGOs’ point of view – advantages and disadvantages

6 Participatory democracy (Art I-47) Make wide exchange of views possible, of citizens & representative associations Open, transparent & regular dialogue with representative associations and civil society Commission must consult broadly Citizens’ initiative - 1 million signatures

7 The EU’s values – Article I-2 “The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.”

8 The EU’s Objectives – Article I-3 Promote peace, its values and the well- being of its peoples… Sustainable development…a social market economy, aiming at full employment and social progress….. Combat social exclusion and discrimination; promote social justice and protection, equality between women and men, solidarity between generations and protection of the rights of the child

9 The EU’s Objectives – Article I-3 In its relations with the wider world : sustainable development…. solidarity…eradication of poverty and the protection of human rights, in particular the rights of the child

10 Will values and objectives have an impact ? Non-binding But: Political leverage

11 Charter of Fundamental Rights Lists fundamental rights of EU citizens 6 chapters: Dignity, Freedom, Solidarity, Equality, Citizenship, Justice Economic, social and cultural rights as well as political and civil rights eg right to education, workers’ rights Part of Constitution – creates greater potential to make EU more social

12 Horizontal social clauses: Articles III-116, III-117, III-118 Social goals will have to be ‘mainstreamed’ in all EU policies: Gender Equality High level of employment, adequate social protection, the fight against social exclusion, and a high level of education, training and protection of human health Combat discrimination

13 Services of general economic interest (horizontal article) Recognises the role of services of general economic interest in promoting social cohesion (not new) Gives the EU the possibility to adopt laws which set out the principles and conditions which enable services of general economic interest to fulfil their public interest missions

14 Role of the EU in social policies Social policy remains a ‘shared competence’ of the EU and MSs The EU can help ‘coordinate’ social policies of member states ; ‘Open Method of Coordination’ is described in Part III Still mainly ‘soft law’ in social policy – much weaker tools than for eg environmental policy

15 Non-discrimination legislation (Article III-124) EU can already legislate on non- discrimination issues No change in decision-making procedures: still requires unanimity (all member states have to agree) European Parliament does not share legislative power

16 Still not social enough? EU economic project: objectives include price stability, internal market with free & undistorted competition Economic, internal market, competition legislation stronger than social policy – will social goals really be integrated? Eg: Social NGOs had called for re- naming of Broad Economic Policy Guidelines: European Guidelines for a Sustainable Economic, Social and Environmental development

17 Different views… British Conservative Party: the Constitution is too social! Some French Socialists: the Constitution is not social enough!

18 European Trade Union Confederation: It’s not perfect but it ‘is a clear improvement over the present Treaties’ and ‘the advantages the Constitution brings for working people and citizens are real’ Sees Constitution as the starting point of a long process and already talks of a next Treaty revision

19 A Constitution for 50 years? Reflects the current state of play in the EU – will need to be updated Bear this in mind when evaluating it

20 The process from now Member states will sign it on 29 th October in Rome. They then have 2 years to complete ratification European Parliament will adopt a position in December 2004 National referendums

21 Platform of European Social NGOs

Download ppt "The EU Constitution - a more social Europe? Kathleen Spencer Chapman, 26 th October 2004."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google