New Horizons in Public Policy series
Edited by Fergus Carr and Andrew Massey
Chapter 5: Enlargement: The Political and Constitutional Implications
Barbara Lippert* INTRODUCTION The history of European integration from the 1960s to the present has often been told with a general reference to the widening of its membership (Dinan, 1999; Brunn, 2002). Widening and deepening are considered to go hand in hand although coincidence in timing does not necessarily indicate a cause–effect relationship (Nugent, 2003, pp. 22–53). However, a tension between the two processes is widely acknowledged. Enlargement is perceived either as an incentive for deepening and institutional change (Keohane and Hoffmann, 1991, p. 22) or as the natural enemy of deepening (Pinder, 1991, p. 51; see also Maurer, 2000, p. 57). All through the 1990s and up to the present, the EU has been facing serious problems sequencing deepening and widening, so that the enlargements of 1995 and of 2004 happened although intended reforms were still lagging behind. This is particularly true with regard to institutions and decision-making procedures. Thus in December 2001 at the European Council in Laeken a catalogue of questions was put forward to be tackled by a European Convention. Its task was to increase the enlarged EU’s efﬁciency, to enhance its capacity to act and improve its legitimacy. On the basis of the draft European Constitution tabled by the Convention, the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) ﬁnally agreed on a thorough revision of the treaties and signed a Constitutional treaty that is now awaiting ratiﬁcation (Conference of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, 2004). Some even speak of a ‘constitutional...
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