No. 7




Estonia’s constitution in the new Europe

11 June 2003


RiTo No. 7, 2003

  • Raul Narits

    University of Tartu, Professor of Comparative Law

With the ratification of the constitution, the Republic of Estonia had taken the first decisive step toward the European legal space. Today, more steps are required to be taken.

As of right now, everything that bears the name EU is very topical. Estonia has taken a lot of pains to gain EU membership. If this comes about, it is an indisputable fact that we all1 – the state and its citizens – will have to start fulfilling the duties of an EU member. This will require the formulation of an acceptance decision in the legal sense. Our parliament has decided to send a bill to referendum entitled “Amendment law to the Estonian constitution.”

A constitutional amendment will be necessary since Article 3 sets forth a principle that holds that “State power will only be implemented through the constitution and laws that are constitutional.” The constitution does not mention EU laws in any section. And Article 3 is part of the main provisions of the constitution which can only be changed by referendum.

I believe that irrespective of the social and political realities, the most important thing from the standpoint of the constitution is its durability and consistency. It is and must remain the framework document of the Estonian national contract, since that is the form in which the people have approved it.

Full article in Estonian