The Federalist Papers, the collection of the eighty-five articles written from 1787-1788, where/are important in many ways. One very important point about the federalist papers and the discussion of a constitution based on a central government is that the discussion was widely published in newspapers and periodicals. Therefore, wide accessibility was accomplished and consequently widely discussed by the general public.
Did the European Union [EU] Have a Counterpart to the Federalist Papers? Yes and no.
In a most excellent essay entitled Does the Treaty of Lisbon Need A European Version of the Federalist Papers? , Dr. Timothy S. Boylan, 04/2008 discusses this very subject. (1)
Several excellent points exist in the essay. Two excellent points are:
(1) the lack of a Federalist Papers, 85 articles published in widely accessible public media, leading to a wider public discussion/understanding: "..little guidance in term of simply, clearly, and effectively communicating these realities to the public". (2) That is, the under pinning's, theory, concept, etc. of the "treaty" aka "constitution" of the EU was not and still is not widely communicated to James and Jane Goodfellow,
(2) a discussion similar to the 85 articles making up the Federalist Papers does exist, but it exists in such obscure places that the public would have no ready access. (3)
One could surely look at the above two points in many different ways. One way to look at the Federalist Papers is: even today the Federalist Papers are studied, many generations after the fact. That is, the Federalist Papers were not only an open public discussion when originally written, the Federalist Papers remain an open public discussion two hundred years later. Hence wide public access by the original generation , many subsequent generations, right up the current generation, has created a "public" reference point.
For example, although the average U.S. school student hasn't read the Federalist Papers, the concepts of the Federalist Papers are taught in history and civics classes two hundred years later. Hence the "concepts" are discussed, debated, understood or rejected, etc. Two hundred years from today will EU children subsequently growing into adults have the same knowledge, discussion, debate, etc.?
The "general public" disconnect regarding the formation and constitution of the EU is likely another piece of the puzzle regarding the current difficulties in the EU.
(1) Does the Treaty of Lisbon Need A European Version of the Federalist Papers? , Dr. Timothy S. Boylan, 04/2008. http://verfassungswandel.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/21-boylan-paper.pdf