Department of Political Science

Daniel Finke

Challenges to Intergovernmentalism: An Empirical Analysis of EU Treaty Negotiations since Maastricht

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

During the last 15 years the nature and process of European treaty reforms changed significantly. The underlying reasons comprise enlargement, a shift of the reform agenda beyond economic coordination and procedural innovations, in particular the invocation of the Convention on the Future of Europe. Against this background, the present article revisits two classic propositions of liberal intergovernmentalism: (1) the power of the largest member states; and (2) the irrelevance of procedural constraints. This analysis compares the positions of national governments at Amsterdam, Nice, and the Constitutional IGC along the two most prevalent dimensions of intergovernmental conflict. Locating the EU treaties in this intergovernmental conflict space, it finds that the reforms of Amsterdam and Nice reflect a sequence of equilibrium and disequilibrium. Both treaty reforms are best understood as minimum compromise between all member states, instead of a deal struck between the most powerful members. However, the Constitutional IGC reveals a slightly different picture as the unanimity win-set for reform has been almost empty. The fact that member states nevertheless signed the Constitutional Treaty hints towards the importance of procedural innovations, in particular the Convention method.

Original languageEnglish
Article number910760345
JournalWest European Politics
Volume32
Issue3
Pages (from-to)466-495
Number of pages30
ISSN0140-2382
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event65th Annual Meeting of the Midwest-Political-Science-Association - , Israel
Duration: 12 Apr 200715 Apr 2007

Conference

Conference65th Annual Meeting of the Midwest-Political-Science-Association
CountryIsrael
Period12/04/200715/04/2007

    Research areas

  • EUROPEAN-UNION, 2-LEVEL GAMES, DOMESTIC CONSTRAINTS, INSTITUTIONS, RATIFICATION, PREFERENCES, INFORMATION, CONVENTION, AMSTERDAM, MODELS

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