Constitutions of Europe: Texts Collected by the Council of Europe Venice Commission - Vol. 1

Constitutions of Europe: Texts Collected by the Council of Europe Venice Commission - Vol. 1

Constitutions of Europe: Texts Collected by the Council of Europe Venice Commission - Vol. 1

Constitutions of Europe: Texts Collected by the Council of Europe Venice Commission - Vol. 1


"Over the last two decades the political landscape of Europe has evolved significantly, with many central and east European countries taking major steps towards establishing more liberal and democratic societies, largely through constitutional change. This unique collection groups together the constitutions of 46 European countries, including all the Council of Europe member states, as well as Belarus and traces the historical background of each. Presented on a country-by-country basis and highly accessible each section provides maps and key factual data on the country concerned. This unique reference works will be of particular interest to constitutional law specialists, policy makers, researchers, libraries and all those interested in comparative law and in learning more about the process of constitutional drafting." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


In the last two decades, several trends converged to radically modify the political landscape in Europe: in different but simultaneous moves towards more liberal and democratic societies, the peoples of Central and Eastern European countries put an end to the one party rule that had governed for the previous decades.

It was a historic opportunity for Europeans to discover the richness of their common past and to create, together, a democratic united Europe. It was also the beginning of a long and difficult process of building truly functioning States based on three principles promoted by the Council of Europe and considered as the fundamental European constitutional values: respect for human rights and freedoms, pluralist democracy and the rule of law.

On 11 May 1989, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly adopted Resolution 917, establishing the concept of [special guest status] to be granted to States committed to economic and political democratic reforms. in May 1990, the European Commission for Democracy through Law was created, as one of the mechanisms of the Council of Europe capable of assisting these States in the search for the specific model of democracy most suitable for them.

The present publication contains constitutional texts of 46 European countries, of which only Belarus is not a member of the Council of Europe. It traces the most significant, sometimes painful moments in the rather short history of the numerous new constitutions of Central and Eastern European countries, and the most significant modifications of the constitutional texts of the so-called [old] democracies.

While striving to implement, or to improve, according to each specific national context, those same values that today constitute the [European constitutional heritage], these texts witness the extreme diversity, richness and complexity of the European historic, sociocultural, political and indeed, constitutional landscape. They also stand to prove that there is no ideal model of democracy that each country should one day achieve.

Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria,
Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece,
Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova,
Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia and
Montenegro, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, [the former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia], Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Belarus.

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