N° 13, 2004/2 – Reforming Europe: The European Convention
edited by Carlos Closa, 2004/2 (n°13)
The Convention has introduced a new body in the process of Treaty reforms that, so far, have been monopolised by national governments through IGCs. In line with new institutionalism, this article argues that institutions do have an impact in the final outcomes. The Convention created the setting for a comprehensive design of an EU Constitution although this does not imply that it imposed an outcome against the preferences of still main players in constitutional politics, national governments.
Florence Deloche-Gaudez – The Secretariat of the European Convention: An Influential Actor
Paul Magnette, Kalypso Nicolaïdis – Coping with the Lilliput syndrome large vs. small member states in the European convention.
Like all former treaty reforms, the Convention on the future of Europe ran into deep divisions between large and small states – read more or less populated states – when addressing institutional issues. This paper examines the causes of this cleavage and its impact on the process and outcome of the Convention. We argue that, despite the consensus proclaimed at its closing, the Convention partly failed to find a stable solution to this fundamental conflict of interest. As a result, the ”politics of size” are likely to play an increasingly determining role in the Union.
This article charts the genesis of the proposals adopted by the European Convention on the EU institutions on the assumption that a proper understanding of this evolution can help us in assessing their quality. The article first outlines the background against which these proposals were conceived. Then the various stages of the Convention’s debate are recounted. In conclusion it is submitted that the Convention’s proposals embody some important steps towards a more transparent, democratic and effective Union but definitely cannot considered exhaustive. Furthermore, while many of the specific proposals put forward by the Convention look likely to be discarded again by the member states, the fundamental principles inscribed in the draft Constitutional Treaty will put the institutional architecture on a fundamentally different basis.
While how to remedy the democratic deficit in the EU has become the central focus of deliberations in the Constitutional Convention, as model after model of EU institutional organization has been proposed, revised, rejected, and rethought, few have even thought about the democratic deficit at the national level, let alone about how to remedy it. And yet, coming to terms with the impact of the…