The best description of the Union is that it is a sui generis entity. The Union has several exclusive areas in which the Union works on a federal level, other areas are treated on a confederal level and other on a state level. So, the Union do have the appearance of a single country in some areas; in defence and foreign policy each state still have veto power and the Union seems to be a union of independent states.
This is of course a problem, even in the new constitution, but at least the constitution moves in the right way (e.g. mutual defence guarantees, more power to the European Parliament and so forth). Especially the move of power to the directly elected EP from the Council is most welcome since this will enhance democracy on the Union level. It is not perfect however, especially since the EP will still not be able to propose new law, but al least it is a step in the right direction.
The goal of every true European should be to transform the Union into a true federal republic.
Tomorrow, the state of France will hold a referendum on the Unions constitution. Several newspapers have pointed on the fact that a lot of French citizens will vote no in order to object against the current government. Can the referendum really be seen as valid if the peoples vote isn't about the constitution, but about the current government?
The ratification of the constitutional treaty will be done by referendums in some states and in other states there will be parliamentary votes. Neither one of there options have any legitimacy as I see it, although the complexity of the question certainly favours the parliamentary ratification. National referendums are inherently undemocratic in this specific question, the only valid and legitimate ratification procedure as I see it would be a joint European referendum and parliamentary ratification.
Having a referendum in each state is just plain wrong since this means that one Swede would be worth 7 Frenchmen, 2 Dutch or 0.5 Finns. Having individuals being valued with different levels of importance like this is counter to the idea of equality.
Non the less, tomorrow there is a referendum in France and on the first of June there is a referendum in the Netherlands.
I plead to you my fellow Europeans, vote oui or ja. Not for the sake of France or the Netherlands, but for the sake of the Union.