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A New Pragmatism: the Role and Impact of the European Parliament in the Constitutional Treaty Negotiations

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Chapter Summary

This chapter compares the performance of the European Parliament (EP) in the 2000 Intergovernmental Conference (IGC), where it had a negligible impact, with the negotiation of the Constitutional Treaty (CT), where it had a major impact. It argues that the major increase in the level of EP influence that resulted in the more ambitious CT being drafted was due to the change in the negotiating structure from the traditional IGC method to the Convention method, as it created a context that privileged the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). The chapter starts with a description of the lack of influence of the EP upon the Treaty of Nice and the many 'fingerprints' of the EP upon the CT. Second, it provides a comparative case study of the role and impact of the EP in the 2000 IGC and in the CT negotiations in 2002-04.

Keywords: Constitutional Treaty (CT); European Parliament (EP); Intergovernmental Conference (IGC); Members of the European Parliament (MEPs); negotiating structure; Treaty of Nice



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