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The EU Draft Constitution & proposed changes with regard to the Common Commercial Policy

The Common Commercial Policy according to the Draft Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe

Background note by Markus Krajewski (October 18, 2003)

An Intergovernmental Conference (ICG) of the EU and the ten acceding countries conveyed by the Italian EU Presidency currently discusses the Draft Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe (hereinafter the Draft Constitutional Treaty). This treaty was drafted by the Convention on the Future of Europe between February 2002 and July 2003 under the chairmanship of former French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing. The aim of the Convention was to propose changes to the founding treaties of the EU, which would prepare the EU for future enlargement, make the it more democratic and bring it closer to its citizens.

The ICG hopes to reach an agreement on the draft treaty by the end of this year or no later than June 2004. The draft treaty will then be subject to ratification procedures in all EU member states, similar to the ratification processes of the Maastricht, Amsterdam and Nice treaties. Accordingly, national parliaments will vote on the treaty and in some member states referenda may be necessary. If the treaty is ratified by all member states it will enter into force and become the new legal basis of the EU/EC replacing the current treaty structure.

This background note briefly sketches the changes of the Common Commercial Policy proposed in the Draft Constitutional Treaty and suggests a preliminary assessment of the proposed changes. The note focuses on the broader picture and omits details which seem of little practical importance. The note also places the proposed changes into the larger context of treaty changes and shows an increasing centralisation of powers and competences in trade policy. The Appendix of this note contains the relevant provisions according to the different treaty versions.

(...) - for full text see pdf-file -

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EU-Const-TradePolicy-BackgrNote-M-Krajewski-10.03.pdfDownload (65 kb)