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The author sets out from the premiss that the functionalist approach to European integration can no longer suffice. The Charter of Rights represents a certain guarantee against any risk of the process being interrupted and, at once, lays the bases for a fully fledged European constitution. Albeit to some extent disappointing, the outcome of the Nice summit confirms that this course has to be followed all the way. By introducing the dimension of individuals rights to the constituent process, the Charter of Rights will become a compulsory point of reference for Community policies and a touchstone for national policies. After analysing the contents of the Charter drawn up by the Herzog Convention and outlining its history, the author concludes by asking whether the European constitutional space may not be more effective than national spaces in serving the cause of individual rights, and whether this may not give rise to European constitutional patriotism.