Keywords: European Convention; European Constitution; Citizens; European Policies; Euroscepticism.
The article analyses some of the main features of the original and controversial constituent process that took place in the European Union in the first decade of the 21th century and their significance for the historical path of the European institutional system. the European Convention of 2002-2003 aimed both at rationalizing the de facto Constitution that had been developed over the years, and at giving the European Union a stronger identity in terms of values and political instruments. the article examines what went wrong in this constitutional experience, as the Constitution was rejected in the French and the Dutch referendums of 2005. Was this constitutional identity perceived, at the same time, as too strong and too weak? and what have been the consequences of the subsequent adoption of the "deconstitutionalized" treaty of Lisbon?