List of participating states

By Jakub Jermar

Home Forums 02. Preamble List of participating states


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    AvatarJakub Jermar

    I think the Preamble cannot contain a list of participating states because it is not known which states’ citizens will ratify it. Also not sure if the citizens can ratify a fill-in preamble or if they do, whether the preamble can be later filled in (by whom and will it still be the ratified constitution?).

    The US constitution refers to the name of the then already existing confederal body which was (also) named the United States. If we want to keep the analogy we need to put “citizens of the European Union” here. Alternatively, the US constitution uses “several States” to refer to the states participating in the federation without naming them. Perhaps this could be changed to:

    “We, the Citizens of the several European States,”

    Thanks for your comments and/or preferences.

    AvatarGiuseppe Martinico

    Thanks for your point. I agree with you. We can indeed use ““We, the Citizens of the several European States” or “We, the Citizens of the federation of the United States of Europe”.

    This is a classical difficulty, that is why we got “We the People of the United States” in the American Constitution without a precise list of the states as the constitution was in the ratification process. While the anti-federalists like Patrick Henry understood it as a menace to the sovereignty of the states, originally the formula had been introduced as a matter of legislative drafting to respect state sovereignty. Bassani wrote something on that in his papers on Calhoun and Jefferson. I am happy to share further info on that. As we know, later, that “we the people” was used to forge a real federal people. You can find further details in Morgan book, inventing the people https://www.amazon.it/Inventing-People-Popular-Sovereignty-England/dp/0393306232

    AvatarCristina Fasone

    I agree with the comments already made on the inclusion of the list of Member States in the Preamble.
    I would advise not to list them for both a practical reason – (the need to have also the Preamble revised at every accession (or withdrawal? – and for a symbolic reason, notably to put the emphasis primairly on citizens rather than on the States (which are nevertheless already evoked in the denomination chose for the Union.
    Hence, the opening clause of the Preamble could read like this: “We, the citizens of the United States of Europe”

    AvatarGiuseppe Martinico

    Very good points, Cristina!

    AvatarJakub Jermar

    Doesn’t “We, the citizens of the United States of Europe” introduce a chicken-and-egg problem into the constitution? The United States of Europe does not exist yet and so it has no citizens and therefore it cannot be established by those non-existing citizens. As I wrote earlier, the US constitution references a pre-existing body. The Czech Republic is also founded by the citizens of the Czech Republic, but there you can argue too that the Czech Republic did exist as one of the two republics of the federal Czechoslovakia just before the split when the new constitution was adopted.

    AvatarGiuseppe Martinico

    There are two possible counter-arguments to your objection: 1. constitutions by definition, ‘found’, i.e. create the political entities described there, they do not presuppose pre-existing legal entities 2. the same could be said of the preamble to the US constitution we the people of the united states, because no people existed and the states had not united under the umbrella of the constitution before ratification. This is exactly what Morgan called the “invention” of the people in his book. A cultural and political entity is also shaped by the constitutional procedures and values which contribute to forging common values and principles.

    AvatarChrister Lundquist

    I concur; less is more: Be advised that the expression “United States of Europa” 1) not necessarily will become the official name of the union, it might as well be The European Federation (short form: Europe), or quite simply a continuation of the European Union (the US calls itself a ‘union’, ‘nation’ etc, but rarely if ever a federation. 2) “the United States of Europe” runs a risk of inherently being compared to/regarded by citizens as a “copy” of the USA. Which, if I may say i diplomatically, will make a lot of them misunderstand this initiative: Which is to make a BETTER and more modern Constitution than America’s — and crucially; our member states are not to become like the single states in the US: Quite the opposite; a major point in Europe will be to retain state soverignty in matters that are not specifically placed at the federal level, which will be areas where only supranational governance of common problems/interests require.

    Why not something simpler like “We, citizens of Europe…” (which countries etc. can be specified outside the Peramble.

    AvatarGiuseppe Martinico

    Well, it depends on the name chosen for the entity created by the Constitution I guess, we, citizens of Europe is perhaps too generic, but I am open to other views on that of course

    AvatarRamon Maynou

    Estoy de acuerdo con su comentario:
    “Nosotros, los ciudadanos de los distintos Estados europeos,”

    AvatarHerbert Tombeur

    I join Ramon Maynou in his proposition – avoiding a list of States in the Federation. I propose, referring to the constitution article(s) to approve which deal with the ratification procedure, this text: “We, the Citizens of the different European States, joining the Federation according to article(s) …”.

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