The European Convention brought together:
- 15 representatives of the Heads
of State or Government of the Member States
(1 from each Member State)
- 13 representatives of the Heads of State or Government
of the countries seeking to
join the Union (1 each from the ten countries that became Member States in
and 1 each from Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey)
- 30 representatives of the national
parliaments of the Member States
- 26 representatives of the national parliaments
of countries seeking to join the Union
- 16 members of the European Parliament
- 2 representatives of the European Commission.
The Union’s advisory bodies, the Economic and Social Committee and the
Committee of the Regions, together with trades unions and business organisations,
attended in an observer capacity.
Under the stewardship of its President, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing,
its Vice-Presidents, Giuliano Amato and Jean-Luc Dehaene, and its thirteen-member
Praesidium, the Convention worked over 17 months from February 2002 to July
Issues were discussed in working groups, discussion circles and plenary sessions.
All plenary meetings were held in public. Throughout its proceedings, efforts
were made to bring the greatest possible public attention to its work, including
through publication of all of its papers and documents on the internet. Its
work was also widely debated, including in the Oireachtas and the National
Forum on Europe.
The Government was represented at the Convention initially by Mr Ray MacSharry
and subsequently by the then Minister of State for European Affairs, Mr Dick
Roche TD, and their alternate Mr Bobby McDonagh of the Department of Foreign
The Oireachtas was represented by Mr John Bruton TD (who was a member of the
Praesidium), Mr Proinsias de Rossa MEP and their alternates Mr Pat Carey TD
and Mr John
The Convention presented a draft Constitution for Europe to the Governments
for their consideration.