Some lawyers say this could be done quickly: only the eternity clause and the one detailing how Germany transfers powers to international organisations (Article 23) need to be tweaked. But more likely the constitutional assembly would be inundated with calls for more extensive social rights, a reform of federalism and a new voting system, to name but a few. “This would be an extremely long process”, predicts a constitutional expert.
And there is a last hurdle: Germany might adopt a plan for fiscal union only to be blocked by Austria, Finland or the Netherlands. After all, this is not really a debate about the German constitution but the future shape of Europe.
Katinka Barysch is deputy director of the Centre for European Reform.