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The European Union (EU) and its hard core, the European Community, is not a federation, nor, at least for the present, does it propose to become one. The European Union does not permit us to speak accurately of a `United States of Europe' as an entity analogous to the United States of America. France is in no danger of being relegated to "the equivalent of Nebraska" as supporters of the "No" vote in the Maastricht referendum claimed. Nevertheless, it is no longer possible to approach Constitutional Law in EU member states as if the links among them were limited to common historical and cultural ties, disturbed by occasional confrontations and discord. Nor is it possible to deny that the EU has brought about a profound transformation of the State - a development that obliges us to rethink old categories and create new ones. The European Union must respect the drive of member states to retain their national identities, while at the same time an increasing proportion of member state legislation is either borrowed directly from community law or is shaped substantially by community legislation. Today roughly 80% of national economic regulations are in some measure touched by EC law, and, furthermore, the European Community now assumes responsibility for commercial relations with the rest of the world. The freedom of each member state to fix its own economic policies is currently limited to choosing among various means to achieve objectives set by the Community - objectives which, if realized, will accomplish even the elimination of national currencies. Limitations in the economic field are accompanied by Community limitations in other areas of national governance. The contrast between the position of European nation-states at the beginning of this century and their current position in the European Union is roughly equivalent to the magnitude of difference that currently separates EU member states from the constituent states of the American Federation. It is with a conscious awareness of this measure of divergence that we refer in the title of this article to the "'integrated' states of Europe" -- a characterization that is both descriptively accurate and analytically necessary.
 Treaty of the European Union (TEU), art. F.1.
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