From Plato to Prodi

Governments Say - Official Documents

Fundamental Documents of Fundamental Chartacter

On this site documents are provided that mark the fundamental political system. They could be characterised as documents with the character of the Constit5utions of what we know today as the European Union.  However, as the European Union is no "state" and even its state-like character is contentious it is not quite justified to talk of a constitution.

Such caution is justified as constitutions would be very much concerned with tha pattern of the traditional nation state. What makes it, then, problamtic to talk of the European state is not so much the fact that it consists of various nation states, and can, thus, hardly be a nation state on its own. This is, however, not the real reason for rejecting the characterisation of the EU as a state. The reason is that the traditional concept of a state is based on two fundamental paradigms:

(a) the principle of division of power, as it had been first developed by Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu in his The Spirit of Law and

(b) a people, a citizenry.

Both cannot be assumed to exist - even if we can see in both regards some embrionic stages and/or some allusions to it. However, it is debatable - and documents in the section both of Literature of General Philosophical Sociological Interest as well as in the section of official EU documents on Politics make it clear that the traditional concept of the state as well as the concept of the citizen is under threat for more fundamental reasons - threat from the bottom and the top alike.


Werner Weidenfeld/Wolfgang Wessels: Europe from A to Z  
Brian Harvey: Guide to Equality and the Policies, Institutions and Programmes of the European Union This document had been kindly put to the disposal by the Equality Authority for the publication on this website. Even if it does not the official view of the Authority not of the European Communities it is a very helpful clear guide to general questions of how the institutional system of the EU works.

Further information on the Equality Authority can be found on their website at:

Legal basis of the European Union - Development of the Treaties  
Rome Treaty  
The Maastricht Treaty - a brief overview on its meaning for the single market and subsequently on social policy


Amsterdam Treaty  
European Parliament, Committee of Independent Experts: First Report on Allegations regarding Fraud, Mismanagement and Nepotism in the European Commission. 15 March 1999 An especially meaningful document as in consequence not only the European Commission ("Santer-Commission ") resigned. In addition the new Commission under Romao Prodi emphasised a strategy of an open and transparent change, founding for example a new strategy of cooperation with NGOs, launching the governance-debate and the Future Europe debate.

The radical success can be questioned, however, and some might argue that in effect the most far-reaching change had been a higher level of Internet access to documents from the EU institutions.

Charter of Fundamental Rights For exploring the background some information are given here from the official perspective (see as well the Communications 559 and 644 on the site with "documents of general social policy interest")