When in October 2004 the heads of state and government gathered to put their signature on the treaty establishing a constitution for Europe, often touted as the first constitution for a united Europe, this event was held up as a major milestone in European history. It took place amidst considerable political support. All major political parties had been behind the constitutional project, and major non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and representatives from civil society had expressed their overall satisfaction by acknowledging that the Constitutional Treaty (CT) would improve the social and political rights of European citizens and would enhance civic participation in EU decision-making.1 Confidence in the success of the constitutional adventure was backed by Eurobarometer opinion polls, which indicated that a substantial majority of the populations of all the member states (with the exception of the UK) was in favour of the Constitutional Treaty.2