Constitutions, constitutionalism, and the european union

Paul Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The institutional reforms of the EU, coupled with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, have fuelled the debate about a European Constitution. This paper begins by examining the nature of constitutions and constitutionalism. The focus then turns to the EU itself. It is argued that the Community has indeed been transformed into a constitutional legal order, and that the arguments to the contrary are not convincing. This does not however mean that the EU has, or should have, a European Constitution cognisable as such which draws together the constitutional articles of the Treaties, together with the constitutional principles articulated by the European Court of Justice. The difficulties with this strategy are examined in detail, and the conclusion is that we should not at present pursue this course. It would be better to draw on the valuable work done by the European University Institute in its recent study in order to simplify and consolidate the Treaties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-150
Number of pages26
JournalEuropean Law Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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