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Understanding the European Constitution

By Werner Weidenfeld

The purposes of the European Constitution are to make the European Union more democratic and more accessible to its citizens and to enable it to function more effectively. Yet the document, hailed by politicians as “historic,” is needlessly complicated and virtually incomprehensible to ordinary people. This is one of the main reasons why the constitution has been rejected by citizens of France and the Netherlands and why other countries have subsequently put their ratification processes on hold. The difficulties plaguing the new constitution have renewed the debate over a united Europe. This book makes it easier to understand both the constitution and the EU in general. Using accessible language, it guides the reader through the complicated subject matter step by step. Concise tables explain the genesis of the constitution, its structure, and the changes that it will bring about. This book will be an indispensable guide for understanding how decisions in the EU are made in the years to come.

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