This paper it looks at some of the normative questions which frame debates about the EU constitutional architecture. Its main objective is to identify the core facets of a ‘responsible and inclusive EU constitutionalism’, and to argue for a focus on process, freedom, fairness and democracy as well as formal constitution–building within the debates inside and outside the Convention running up to the Intergovernmental Conference anticipated for 2003/2004. A model using the work of Canadian political theorist James Tully is constructed. The paper applies this framework in order to analyse some aspects of the work of the Convention on the Future of the Union, looking especially at questions of autonomy, representativity, internal dynamics, deliberation, receptiveness, and decision–making. The interim conclusion is drawn that the Convention method contains within itself the seeds of a critical and reflexive approach to EU constitutionalism.