Take the body without life of a Constitution. The cut and divide in the elements between the Treaty of Rome (1957) and the Treaty of Maastricht on European Union (1992), already amended by the Treaty of Amsterdam (1996) and Nice (2000). Surreptitiously erasing the part III, which essentially contained in the earlier treaties. Return the Charter of fundamental rights (ex-partie II) in the annex and replace it with a single article (article 6), which says its binding character. Make sure that you do not qualify "simplified treaty" at all, as can hardly be confused: 145 pages, 296 amendments, 12 protocols, 51 statements. All those who blamed the Constitution its complexity will be not disappointed. This indigestible legal maquis emerging however real change. But neither break nor federalist leap in this text translated rather the immense distress of Governments and public opinion against a Europe that has failed to convince its usefulness.
• The main institutional changes
(1) The European Council to acquire a stable presidency: the "rotating" Presidency of the European Union, which currently requires a rotation every six months, will be replaced by a President elected by the leaders of the States members for two years and a half, renewable once. This reform is intended to give more visibility to the 27 Governments and ensure greater continuity in European action.
(2) A high representative for foreign policy and security is created, the twenty-seven who had to give up the title, deemed too ambitious by some, Minister. But Affairs, as provided for in the Constitution. It will have an own diplomatic service and all the European funds for external action.
(3) The size of the Commission is reduced: the community Executive, which continues to swell at the rate of new accessions, will see its size reduced from 2014. The number of Commissioners (27 today) will be then reduced to two thirds of the number of Member States, and countries there will be represented each in turn. This means that France as the Germany else could not sit.
(4) The number of MEPs is limited: the fixed Treaty at 750 (instead of 785 since January 1, 2007) the number of MEPs. The representation of each country will now be on the basis of a proportional representation system with a maximum number of seats by 96 countries and a minimum of 6. According to these calculations, but rejected by the Italy, the Germany has the maximum number of seats, while the France, who gave up to parity with it since the Treaty of Nice, passes to 74, and the British at 73.
• Changes in the functioning of the Union
(1) The rules of the vote in the Council are always more complex. Force compromise between "large" and "small" States, and especially to meet the Poland, the system of voting in the Council of Ministers is complex. The Treaty of Nice will continue to apply until November 2014, date on which the double majority rule (at least 55 of States representing 65 of the population of the Union) will be required. However, 2014-2017, a Member State may always require the application of the Nice system. Finally, until in 2017, if minority in a group of States, it may request the application of the "Ioannina compromise", which allows him to freeze the majority decision to prolong the debate. This protection for small States will be strengthened after 2017.
(2) The scope of the majority is extended. Forty areas pass to the majority, as the judicial and police cooperation, legal immigration, education. Unanimity remains the rule for foreign policy, social policy, taxation. In addition, a legal basis is created to facilitate the implementation of a European energy policy.
(3) Enhanced cooperation is facilitated: we must be at least nine States to compose, and they may concern the judicial and police areas. The creation of a European public prosecutor becomes possible.
(4) The Eurogroup is recognized... even if it remains an informal instance. In addition, decisions which its members (currently 13) may be taken at thirteen and not twenty-seven as today more.
• The seven differences with the Constitution
(1) The symbols disappeared. All what was the ambition of the Union and his unit has been removed: the references to the flag, the anthem for the single currency have been purely and simply swept the text.
(2) The primacy of European law has disappeared. To reassure the Eurosceptics, the clause stating the supremacy of European law over national law, yet reaffirmed since 1963, will be replaced by a discrete statement (in Appendix) of the principles established in this area by the Court of justice of the European Communities (ECJ). What is the same on the merits.
(3) The preamble finally contains a reference to the "religious heritages" who had been refused by ValÃ©ry Giscard d'Estaing for secularism in Europe. But poles, Italians and... Chancellor Angela Merkel is held much.
(4) The 'free and undistorted' competition is no longer an objective of the Union. It is the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, who has obtained this withdrawal, which is cosmetic since, at the request of the British, this principle is reinstated in the same terms to Protocol 6 annexed to the Treaty.
(5) The guarantee of public services is asserted: article 14 of the Treaty refers to the need for the European Union and its Member States to ensure the economic and financial conditions for the public services to ensure their missions... subject, note the more attached to utilities to the French, this interferes with no competition.
(6) A reference to the "protection" of the citizens is introduced in the objectives of the Union. At the request of the France, article 3 refers to "sustainable development of Europe (...)". "based on a high level of protection."
(7) The energy solidarity should apply, if a Member State encounters difficulties of supply.