The European Union is not a state; its authority is derived from its member states. The fact that the European Union has no head of state proves that the Union is not a state. Contrary, the members of the European Union who are the sole component of the union have all the requirements off a State. They have head of the state, head of government, prisons, courts and army among others. According to the definition of a constitution given by the law dictionary, it is a Nation or State. This definition rules out the consideration of a European Union as a constitution.
Although the European Union has some attributes of a state, there are other factors that disqualify it from being a constitution. Furthermore, the citizens of the Union can not make a nation by their own. (Walker 2003) According to the definition given by the Black’s Law dictionary, a state is people occupying a fixed territory permanently, bound together by common law, customs and habits into a common body that exercises through a medium of independent sovereignty, an organized government, and has control over all things and all persons within the boundary, capable of making peace and war, and capable .
of engaging in international relations with other people or communities of the globe. Relating the constitution of the United States of America with this definition, there are some elements in the definitions that, links the constitution of the United States of America. For example the term people in the definition is used in its singular form, and likewise is the preamble of the constitution which state ‘we the people of the United States.
’ such elements rules out the European Union as it is made up of many Nations, and according to the Community treaty, the first preamble clause is in plural, and it considers the union as an ever closer union among Europeans. (Plattner 2003, 48). The general concept of existence of single people needs closer consideration. The world contains many States whose citizens speak different mother-tongues, as a result of the differences in their origin. Moreover having individuals with multiple loyalties and affinities is normal.
For this reason, people can think of themselves by reference to their region or locality of their origin besides national citizenship and common language. Actually, these affinities are capable of embracing other factors beyond the national boundary. Undoubtedly, this is the case of the Europeans who share distinctive and important things that distinguishes them from other people and society culturally, historically and geographically. (Michiel 2003, 18). Culturally, Europe is distinct from other continents diversity and richness notwithstanding.
Although the cultural difference of America and Europe is minimal, the European social model is different from the American model. Historically, the root in civilization of Judaeo-Christianity, Rome and Ancient Greece is shared by Europeans. Geographically, the extensive sea-coast of Europe in the west, south and the north forms a peninsula which gives Europe a distinct entity. The Ural Mountains from the natural landmarks separates the continent from Asia. Considering the definition of a State with regard to the sovereignty and power attribution, a state has independent sovereignty.
Black’s dictionary defines sovereignty is the self-sufficient source of power which gives rise to specific political power. To expound on this, it is the right of a State to enjoy power and sovereignty over all government fields except in those removed by the constitution. Comparing this definition with the European Union and European Community, it is clear they do not have independent sovereignty. Contrary, European Community Treaty enshrines principles of attribution of powers which governs the European Community.
Except for the powers attributed by its treaties, the European Community has no power in contrast to the Nation states which are sovereign. Considering the article 308 of the European Community Treaty, any power that is not within the scope of the treaty should not be exercised. (Bellamy. 2003). According to the definition of the state given earlier, the state has control over all people and things that live within its boundary contrary to the European Community whose power can only regulate the sectors of the economy, and not people or things.
Actually, the Community relies on the member states to utilize the coercive and administrative machinery to enhance effective application of the Community law. A State is capable of making peace and war contrary to the European Union that does not participate in military alliance, has no common defense and no army. Nevertheless, the Union and the Community make other unfriendly steps such as imposing trade embargo. Moreover, the treaty contemplates the progressive framing of defense policy.
According to the last element of the definition of a State, it is capable of engaging in international relation with other people and communities of the globe contrary to the European Community that concludes international agreements in respects to matters related to its powers only. In summary, the European Union is not a state and its member states do not hold their complete freedom to act and full sovereignty as they share some of their power with the union or have given up some of their powers to the Community.It should not have a constitution since the treaties does the needed job.
References Alec, Stone. 2009. Constitutionalism, international regimes, and legal pluralism. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, 16(2): 626-642 Bellamy, R. 2003. Sovereignty, post-sovereignty and pre-Sovereignty: Three models of the State, democracy and rights Oxford: Hart Besselink, M. 2008. The notion and nature of the European constitution after the reform Treaty http://ssrn. com/abstract=1086189 (accessed April 5, 2010)
Graig, Paul. 2008. Constitution, constitutionalism and the European Union. European Journal, 7(2): 126-146. http://www3. interscience. wiley. com/ (accessed April 5, 2010) Michiel, Tegelaars. 2003. European Citizenship in the Making: from passive to active citizens. Good Society, 12(2):16-21 Piris, Jean-Claude. 2000. Does the European Union have a constitution? Does it need one? Academy of European Law. http://centers. law. nyu. edu/jeanmonnet/papers/00/000501-02. html (accessed April 5, 2010)