This article reviews arguments in favour of a formal, written constitution for Europe, and concludes with a better suggestion – a Basic European Law. The article also criticizes the wholehearted embrace of ?popular constitution–making?. It does so by drawing on comparative evidence from constitution–making processes in various his–torical time periods and world regions. It poses three essential questions to organize the debate. First, why a European constitution? Second, what kind of European con–stitution? Third, how a European constitution?