Can the President Overrule the People?: France and the EU Reform Treaty

Can the President Overrule the People?: France and the EU Reform Treaty

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has announced that he will submit the EU "Reform" Treaty agreed upon in Lisbon last week to the French parliament for ratification. In so doing, is he proposing to ratify a treaty that is essentially identical to the "Constitutional" Treaty that French voters rejected in a referendum in 2005? French constitutional law scholar Anne-Marie Le Pourhiet says yes -- and outlines the drastic consequences of such an action.


On Oct. 5, the proposed European "Amending Treaty" -- commonly known as the "Reform" Treaty -- was made public. Upon reading the text, one understands why its authors declined to use the expressions "mini-treaty" or "simplified treaty" that had earlier been used to refer to it: since, along with its 12 protocols and 25 declarations, it runs to no less than 256 pages. As concerns the structure of the document, moreover, it would have been difficult to come up with something more complex.

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