EUROPEIZATION OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIFTH FRENCH REPUBLIC (Europeizacja Konstytucji V Republiki Francuskiej)
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The initial text of the Constitution of the Fifth Republic does not contain any provisions concerning the delegation of powers. The 'European clause' was introduced only in 1992 in order to make it possible to ratify the Treaty of Maastricht. One of the characteristics of the French regulations is that they lack a constitutional clause authorizing the delegation of powers. Instead, the constitutional lawgiver prefers the method of ad hoc constitutional reforms consisting of provisions enabling ratification of particular international agreements in order to delegate powers. The French basic law does not regulate unequivocally the relation between itself and the European Union law. According to the most recent jurisprudence of the Constitutional Council, the French Republic is under obligation to implement the EU law. Any refusal to transpose a directive may only be based on the norms and principles defining the constitutional identity of France. Such approach imposes, in practice, limitations on the scope of application of the Constitution of 1958 within the domestic legal order of the Fifth Republic. More careful position is taken in this respect by the Council of State (Conseil d'Etat). Membership of the European Union has caused gradual changes in the system government of France and alteration of the meaning of basic concepts of French constitutional law. Nowadays, the powers of public authority is exercised by two separate political structures, namely the French Republic and the European Union, which exert different influence on each other. As a consequence of limited powers of French Parliament, the introduction of the delegation of powers has affected it less than other national parliaments. The French constitutional lawgiver had become aware of the process of reinforcement of the executive at the expense of national parliament and made, in 1992, an attempt to establish such regulations that would compensate negative impact of European integration on the position of Parliament. As is also the case in other countries, European integration considerably strengthens the position of courts of law. At present, the Constitution of the Fifth Republic is an element of a wider multi-level European constitutional system, comprised of the treaties establishing the EU, national constitutions of member states and, in some countries, also constitutions of members of federations, or statutes of autonomous units.
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