Chapter

Precedents and Present Events in the European Union: An Institutional Perspective on Treaty Reform

Ulf Sverdrup

in European Integration After Amsterdam

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780198296409
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599989 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198296401.003.0013
 Precedents and Present Events in the European Union: An Institutional Perspective on Treaty Reform

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The 1996‐7 intergovernmental conference was convened to prepare the European Union (EU) for the challenges of the twenty‐first century, for which a radical review and reform of the EU's institutions was considered to be of paramount importance. This chapter investigates and maps the organizational factors that constrained and facilitated institutional reform in the EU. It challenges the liberal intergovernmental perspective, which argues that the preferences and power of the member states are the key explanatory factors for such reform. On the basis of empirical investigation of the 1996‐97 IGC, it suggests that an institutional perspective on governance reveals important aspects of political reform that have previously been neglected. It demonstrates that a careful analysis of the constraints and possibilities created by the path‐dependent development of the EU, the internal dynamics and the decision‐making procedures in the IGC, and a distinct temporal location help increase our understanding of the EU.

Keywords: decision‐making; European Union; governance; institutions; intergovernmental conference; intergovernmental politics; member states; path‐dependency; reform

Chapter.  12211 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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