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Picture Atlas > Polity 


The changes in the way EU-Europe has been and is being constituted, i.e. the deepening and widening of the European Integration Project from the Economic Union all the way to a political union, can be given highly effective visual shape through various graphic presentations.

Generally the print media, information brochures and school books like to present the way the EU functions in the form of tables, infographics, pictures and maps. These are supposed to make visible at a glance in precise and easily grasped form the essential functions of the EU-institutions and agencies, the way they function and the complex development processes at the EU-level. Similarly these graphic representations are intended to clarify visually specific spheres of politics, such as the EU-elections or the EU-expansion, with facts and figures. Thus infographics are among the picture categories that are most frequently circulated on the topic of EU-Europe.

The selected examples illustrate for one thing the institutional and political division of tasks of the EU, and for another, most importantly, they mirror the recent efforts at a deepening of the political union with the help of an EU-constitution: It was already resolved in the year 2001 in the "Laeken Declaration" to set up a committee, its members drawn largely from the parliament, to work out proposals for reform. The so-called EU-Convention consisted of 105 members and their deputies, sent by member countries and states ready to become members. The former French President, Valery Giscard D`Estaing functioned as chairman. Between March 2003 and June 2003, the convention worked out proposals for the reform of EU-institutions and for the future of the European Union. After prolonged wrestling with the problems, in October 2004, the state and government heads of the EU member states signed the Treaty on a Constitution for Europe: The necessary approval on the respective national levels, the ratification process, was thwarted by the failed referenda in France and the Netherlands. At the moment, state and government heads have agreed on a "pause for reflection" on the ratification process until the middle of 2007. 15 of 25 member states have meanwhile ratified the EU-Constitution.

In view of the struggles over the EU-constitution and also in view of further planned expansion, the process of constituting EU-Europe will obviously continue to be in flux in the future.

© Demokratiezentrum Wien

About the Project

The Picture Atlas is an outcome of the project ICONCLASH. Collective Icons and Democratic Governance in Europe

Knowledge Module Constitutional Debates

Knowledge module on current constitutional debates in Austria and the European Union

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