While the Nice Treaty cast a shadow over the Convention's work on the institutions and led to the project's first failure in the Brussels Summit, the war in Iraq cast shadows over the common foreign and security agenda. On the one hand, it proved the extent to which Europe is divided over substantive positions and over the means to act, particularly the resort to war. On the other hand, there is an increased popular sense that Europe should play a role (reflected in Eurobarometer polls, including one especially commissioned by Giscard). Article I-40 of the Draft Constitution on defence reflects that ambition. It remains to be seen whether this facilitates Europe to unite when it comes to giving foreign policy teeth in the form of a real and effective common ‘defence’ policy.
As with most other provisions of the Constitution, Article I-40 in the main builds on and consolidates the texts as we already have them in the existing Treaties, but at the same time, it innovates.