PART 9  |  01 APRIL – 15 APRIL 2022

Article VIII regulates the procedure of adapting the constitution. This procedure is very demanding. Unlike the system of treaties of the European Union, it is out of the question that - since the establishment of that system in 1951 - constantly new treaties and adaptations of existing treaties are introduced. The federal constitution is a precious asset that is so fundamentally designed that it is hardly vulnerable to ever-changing political insights and wishes. Nevertheless, there must be room for amendments.

In the European Congress, amendments can be proposed by a two-thirds majority in each House. But proposals can also come from the Member States and their citizens.

If the legislatures of two-thirds of the Member States deem it necessary, Congress will organise a Convention of citizens to give them the opportunity to propose amendments.

In either case, those amendments will be adopted if three quarters of the citizens of the United States of Europe, three quarters of the legislatures of the states and three quarters of each house of Congress ratify them.

For those interested in the 27 amendments to the US Constitution, I refer you to Chapter 8 of the 'Constitutional and Institutional Toolkit for Establishing the federal United States of Europe'

Article VIII – Changing the Constitution

The European Congress is authorized to propose amendments to this Constitution, each time a two third majority in both Houses consider this necessary. If the legislative branches of two thirds of the Member States, consider it necessary the European Congress will hold a Convention with the assignment of proposing amendments to the Constitution. In both cases the amendments will be a valid part of the Constitution following ratification by three quarters of the Citizens of the European Federal Union, three quarters of the legislative branches of the Member States and three quarters of each House of the European Congress, in this order.

Explanatory Memorandum of Article VIII - Changing the Constitution

Article VIII balances between the harshness of the original 'Articles of Confederation' (1776-1787) which, with its unanimity requirement, did not allow for much, if any, amendment of the confederal treaty, and an overly soft application of majority decisions that - under the pressure of the political frenzy of the day - would introduce constant changes to the Constitution, making it unstable. This Article VIII, therefore, tries to safeguard the fundamental character of the Constitution, but at the same time to offer room for the need to adapt, from time to time, that basic document of an organisation such as the Federation Europe to changed circumstances and changed insights.

Article VIII – Changing the Constitution

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