Hughes, Kirsty. (2002) The Future of Europe Convention: Travelling Hopefully? EPIN Working Paper No. 1, June 2002. [Working Paper]
[From the Executive Summary]. The future of Europe Convention is now three months into its task of finding answers to the challenges and questions of the Laeken declaration. The central issue for the Convention is whether it can find a route through the multitude of questions and create a strong consensus on substantive answers to the three big challenges of democratising the EU, organizing the politics and policies of the enlarged EU, and developing the EU's voice in the world. The enlarged EU of 25 or more members has to be able to cope in both democratic and efficiency terms with the increased numbers of member states, and increased diversity in economic and political interests and circumstances. The status quo is not an option or the enlarged EU will rapidly find its decision-making and operational mechanisms seizing up - it will be a stalled and inefficient EU. The politics of the Convention are unfolding slowly and a myriad of political alignments are emerging. But some key differences are showing already - particularly the traditional battle between intergovernmentalists and integrationists. The relative role and powers of the Council and Commission will be central in determining the nature of the future EU. Fundamental reform of both institutions is vital in both efficiency and democratic terms. One of the big risks is that energy is concentrated on the relative power of the two institutions and not on their effective reform. Proposals for a new, five-year, appointed President of the European Council go in this direction - they will not improve legitimacy and precisely duplicate the characteristics of the current Commission President. The paper identifies five scenarios for the future EU to summarise the potential outcomes of different sets of decisions by the Convention and the IGC:...
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