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Producing ‘Ever Closer Union’? the Rhetoric of Legitimacy and Regional Participation in the Eu Constitutional Convention

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores how successfully the 2002-03 Convention addressed the challenge of bringing the EU 'closer to its citizens.' It examines the role of sub-state political actors in the Constitutional Convention as an indicator of efforts to expand public participation in treaty-making process and to improve the legitimacy of treaties. The regions of EU have long been seen as critical to legitimate and effective EU governance, enmeshed in debates about how to improve the relationship between European citizens and EU institutions. The chapter argues that although regional actors were able to engage in some forms of participation in the Convention, their participation was highly constrained by organisation and working practices of Convention. In addition, the efforts of the main EU institutions and Member States to retain their privileged roles in production of treaties constituted obstacles to the major institutional reforms that would have addressed the interests of some regional actors.

Keywords: EU citizens; EU Constitutional Convention; EU institutions; legitimacy; public participation; regional participation; sub-state political actors; treaty-making process



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