From the Constitution to the Lisbon Treaty
Edited by Maurizio Carbone
Chapter 13: Conclusion: Preference Formation, Inter-state Bargaining and the Treaty of Lisbon
Maurizio Carbone INTRODUCTION The European Union (EU) has been attempting to reform its institutional framework since the early 2000s. Following the speech by the German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer at Humboldt University in May 2000, the EU embarked on a constitution-building process which resulted in a Constitutional Treaty, drafted by the Convention on the Future of Europe in July 2003, finalized in an Inter-Governmental Conference in 2003–4, and then signed by the Member States in October 2004. The work of the Convention has been the object of an extensive scholarly debate. Its mandate was to produce a reform of the institutional framework of the EU in the light of the enlargement rounds of the mid-2000s, with a method which was meant to be more democratic and more transparent than previous experiences. The Convention in reality was less than the ‘deliberative forum’ that many had expected, and for some broadly reflected the positions of the various Member States. More significantly, it failed to take into account the potential problems coming from the ratification process. Unsurprisingly, the Constitutional Treaty was rejected by the citizens of France and the Netherlands in two referendums held respectively on 29 May and 2 June 2005. This volume started from these two failed referendums to analyse preference formation, inter-state bargaining and ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon, with the aim of assessing the impact of domestic politics on treaty reform. Linking domestic politics and EU policy making has a long tradition in the field of EU...
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