Treaty of Nice

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A follow‐up treaty to Maastricht and Amsterdam. It extended Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) in the European Council in two‐fifths of the articles that had required unanimity before. However, unanimity was maintained in the more important policy arenas such as immigration, social policy, and taxation. It did manage to reform some of the institutions of the European community. The size of the European Commission was to be reduced from 2005, when each country would be able to nominate only one commissioner, up to a maximum of 27. The size of the European Parliament was reduced and new allocations of seats made to old and potential new member states. Finally, the nature of QMV was amended to accommodate the larger countries of the EU. Just like its predecessors, the Treaty of Nice failed to resolve sufficiently some of the institutional problems posed by the expansion of the EU from fifteen to 27 member states by 2007. At German insistence the Treaty provided for a further Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) in 2003, to consider the deliberations of the Constitutional Convention. Given the subsequent difficulty of some member states in ratifying the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, the Treaty of Nice remained the basis for the EU's organization.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945) — Law.

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