The Amsterdam Treaty: The Blueprint for the Future Institutional Balance?

Gerda Falkner and Michael Nentwich

in European Integration After Amsterdam

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780198296409
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599989 | DOI:
 The Amsterdam Treaty: The Blueprint for the Future Institutional Balance?

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The 1996‐97 intergovernmental conference (IGC) aimed, inter alia, at solving the most pressing institutional issues in order to prepare the ground for the next wave of enlargement. The paper first contrasts this IGC's mandate with the outcome of the Amsterdam Treaty. It then analyses the four most significant reform steps with a view to democratic governance at the EU level: they concern the issue of ‘appropriate representation’ in the European Parliament; the appointment of the Commission President; the latter's powers concerning the internal organization of the Commission; and, finally, the new powers and competences of the EP. The authors conclude that the incremental institutional changes during the two decades since the first direct European elections amounted to a fundamental reform and that, in the future, this new inter‐institutional balance would be refined rather than fundamentally challenged.

Keywords: Amsterdam Treaty; democracy; enlargement; EU Commission; EU Commission Presidency; European Parliament; European Union; intergovernmental conference; reform; representation

Chapter.  10262 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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