DON'T READ IT, JUST VOTE FOR IT
I do mean "subjects" of the EU, not citizens. Citizens consent to be governed and have clear-cut individual rights which trump absolute power of government, which Mao correctly noted "flows from the barrel of a gun". Citizens know what they can and can't do because the law is clear and does not contradict itself. Yes, these are ideals. Some systems attempt to approach ideals, while others obfuscate or ignore them.
The EU Draft Constitution is facing an uphill battle. The will of the people, though inconvenient to the elite, self-aggrandizing, and intellectually tyrranical power-brokers, should be followed if democracy and freedom are respected norms in society.
There are many problems when a constitution approaches the Internal Revenue Code in complexity and appeal to special interests.
Constitutions should briefly describe the basic structure and principles of governance. Individual rights must be protected. A judicial system must be created. Separation of powers, best defended by John Locke in the 17th Century, should be a primary objective. Constitutions are the, say it with me, supreme law of the land. The only law higher than a constitution might be the grundnorm hypothesized by the great, verbose, and often cryptic philosopher of jurisprudence, Hans Kelsen. Like many great men, his greatness seems to be based in part on the inability of most people to understand what he's trying to say. However, the grundnorm is by definition without substance and difficult to define in any legal system. From the above link:
Put simply, Kelsen had come across the idea that legal systems are based on a given perception held in the minds of the supporters of the system. Kelsen called the perception the Basic Norm (in this note referred to as “the Grundnorm perception”).
In the United States, I would argue the grundnorm is something like "The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land and must be obeyed." Evidence for this is contained in the Presidential Oath of Office and many similar oaths. Since 'the' grundnorm is actually a collection of opinions, your big norm might be just as big as my big norm, thus the confusion.
Contrast this viewpoint with the Spanish jurist, who should know better, mentioned in Charles Moore's Daily Telegraph (UK) op-ed:
According to the Spanish justice minister: "You don't have to read the treaty to know it's a good thing."
If good means important, the Spanish justice minister is onto something. On the other hand it appears as though they are trying to create a grund-disaster by realizing the importance of a constitution in binding a political entity together, without the equally-important realization that the success and utility of the supreme law of the land most assuredly depends on the content of the constitution. The Soviet Union drafted an interesting constitution. If you lived in a cave and someone airdropped you a copy, you'd think the Soviet Union was a utopia, not an Orwellian distopia. The Soviets were experts at weasel-wording. I must say, the EU drafters have given the Soviets a run for their money.
I'll discuss examples, and other issues, in later posts. It should be obvious to anyone with a legal background, the word "shall" should not be followed by unclear, politically-charged rhetoric designed to appeal to special interests. If you take the time to read the draft EU Constitution, there are many examples. Legislatures should make policy, checked by other branches of government. When what should be statutory is included in the supreme law courts will be 'forced' to make all the important decisions. Judges, like most people, will take absolute power if you hand it to them with no complaints or debate. Perhaps this puts the Spanish justice minister's comment in context.