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The Evolution of the European Council. Periods of Generations of Leaders

Wessels, Wolfgang (2015) The Evolution of the European Council. Periods of Generations of Leaders. [Conference Proceedings] (Submitted)

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    Introduction: Following the creation of the European Council in 1974, all generations of European leaders used this institution to deal with concrete problems they were facing, and to help search for opportunities to keep and – where possible – to extend their influence and power over all aspects of the multilevel game. However, the political and economic contexts of their work have changed dramatically, in particular following the historic watershed moment in 1989, and the subsequent entry into force of the Maastricht Treaty in 1993. Like all attempts to understand historical developments, this paper faces the methodological challenge of dealing with the issues of continuity and trends as well as of significant changes in the activities, agreements and acts of the European Council: Considering that a detailed study of each of the more than 130 summit sessions is not feasible, one solution to this problem is to identify periods in the integration process (see Loth 2014; Marhold 2011; Marhold 2009; Elvert 2006). As contribution to study the history of this key institution I propose to define five periods within the forty years of existence of the European Council. Each of them focuses on generations of leading members in their respective historical contexts. As a second contribution this paper sets out to describe the institutional career of this institutionalised summitry. It shows an incremental evolution from the first summit in Paris in 1974 until the Lisbon TEU in 2009 in which the institution finally received a full status in the treaty.

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    Item Type: Conference Proceedings
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > Council of Ministers
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2015 (14th), March 4-7, 2015
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 23 May 2017 13:44
    Number of Pages: 20
    Last Modified: 23 May 2017 13:44

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