National Politics and European Integration
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National Politics and European Integration

From the Constitution to the Lisbon Treaty

Edited by Maurizio Carbone

This book discusses the domestic politics of treaty reform in the European Union, from the failed referendums on the Constitutional Treaty held in France and the Netherlands in May-June 2005 to the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in December 2009.
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Chapter 6: Italy: The Importance of Party Politics in Treaty Negotiations

Lucia Quaglia


Lucia Quaglia INTRODUCTION The agreement reached at the European Council in Lisbon in October 2007 resolved the deadlock in which the Constitutional Treaty had languished since the failure to be ratified in some Member States. This chapter discusses Italy’s evolving positions in the constitutional politics of the European Union (EU), covering the period from the European Convention in 2002–3 to the signing of the Lisbon Treaty in December 2007. The theoretical angle adopted to frame the analysis is a theory often used to investigate treaty negotiations in the EU – liberal intergovernmentalism (see, for example, Dimitrakopoulos and Kassim, 2004; König and Hug 2006). Hence, this work elucidates the preferences and negotiating stances taken by the Italian government (centre-right first and centre-left later) over time; the strategies and alliances pursued during the intergovernmental negotiations; and the influence that this had on the final outcome. It also discusses the domestic politics of treaty negotiations in Italy. Indeed, the preferences exposed by the Italian government and the strategies selected were deeply rooted in domestic politics. This analysis of the negotiations of the Lisbon Treaty has two main purposes. Theoretically, it assesses the explanatory power of one of the most influential theories of European integration – liberal intergovernmentalism (Moravcsik 1998) – against the empirical record of the selected country study in a comparative perspective. This assessment is important not only because liberal intergovernmentalism is often the benchmark against which other theoretical approaches are evaluated, but also because it predicts a specific trajectory of integration. Empirically,...

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