What happens if the Constitutional Treaty is not ratified?

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This paper by Professor Jo Shaw the Federal
Trust considers solutions to a potential crisis in the
ratification of the EU Constitution.

First paragraph (taken word for word from the

Ratification of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for
Europe requires unanimity amongst the Member States. The
Constitutional Treaty will not enter into force if one or more
Member States fails to ratify in accordance with their national
constitutional requirements. Such flexibility as will exist for
future amendments once the Constitutional Treaty has entered into
force (Article IV-444 – the simplified revision procedure) does not
apply to the initial ratification. Non-ratifying states could be
said to be ‘vetoing’ the Constitution. In practice this terminology
hardly seems apt for the situation of non-ratification. It may well
be the case that in a national referendum the debate is dominated
by national issues rather than the question of whether the
Constitutional Treaty is the correct way forward, both collectively
for the EU and its Member States, and individually for the specific
state which is holding the referendum. In that context, the
citizens would not in any sense be seeing themselves as vetoing the
Constitutional Treaty in the same way that a Member State voting
‘no’ in the Council of Ministers to a piece of EU legislation which
requires a unanimous vote must undoubtedly see itself (and wish to
portray itself) as exercising a veto. 

Click here to access  this European Policy
Brief by Jo Shaw, Senior Research
Fellow, the Federal Trust.

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