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European Integration After AmsterdamInstitutional Dynamics and Prospects for Democracy$
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Karlheinz Neunreither and Antje Wiener

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198296409

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198296401.001.0001

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Precedents and Present Events in the European Union: An Institutional Perspective on Treaty Reform

Precedents and Present Events in the European Union: An Institutional Perspective on Treaty Reform

Chapter:
(p.241) 13 Precedents and Present Events in the European Union: An Institutional Perspective on Treaty Reform
Source:
European Integration After Amsterdam
Author(s):

Ulf Sverdrup

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198296401.003.0013

The 1996‐7 intergovernmental conference was convened to prepare the European Union (EU) for the challenges of the twenty‐first century, for which a radical review and reform of the EU's institutions was considered to be of paramount importance. This chapter investigates and maps the organizational factors that constrained and facilitated institutional reform in the EU. It challenges the liberal intergovernmental perspective, which argues that the preferences and power of the member states are the key explanatory factors for such reform. On the basis of empirical investigation of the 1996‐97 IGC, it suggests that an institutional perspective on governance reveals important aspects of political reform that have previously been neglected. It demonstrates that a careful analysis of the constraints and possibilities created by the path‐dependent development of the EU, the internal dynamics and the decision‐making procedures in the IGC, and a distinct temporal location help increase our understanding of the EU.

Keywords:   decision‐making, European Union, governance, institutions, intergovernmental conference, intergovernmental politics, member states, path‐dependency, reform

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