This volume represents a historical comparison of the American and the EU European constitutional experiences and lessons to be derived therefrom for the present time. It is designed to deepen the understanding of the historical and political dimensions of constitutional designs and practises on two continents. Hopefully, such historical depth charts will expand the horizon of debates among experts and decision-makers.
The first part concentrates on the historical dimension. It deals with the experiences and perceptions of basic American political principles, developments of international and humanitarian law, and the historical dimension of constitutional debates. The second part of the book aims at culling potential lessons from the American constitutional experience and the remarkable longevity of the U.S. constitution. Additional chapters concentrate on specific aspects and elements of the European constitutional debate (courts of law, human rights, minority protections, as well as gender equality). Still other contributions focus on the historical context of the recent European Constitutional Convention.
Chapters on writing a European ‚bill of rights’, the EU reform debates of the 1990s, and finally an analysis of the Brussels Constitutional Summit of June 2004 are also included. The spillover effects of the economic and monetary union on the constitutional debates are covered here, as well as Asian perceptions of European integration. Practitioners and scholars address in this volume historical, political and diplomatic dimensions and achievements in the process of European constitution making and ist chances of success in the future. Finally, the current tensions in the Atlantic world are analysed and what they may portend for the future of European Union security options.