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The Igc 2003-4: How Constrained by Rhetorical Action? How Intergovernmental?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter gives an account of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) that finalised the negotiation of the Draft Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe (Constitutional Treaty). It started on 4 October 2003 during the Italian Presidency and reached an agreement on 18 June 2004 during the Irish Presidency. The IGC 2003-04 was unique in the sense that it based its work on a complete legal text, the one proposed by the European Convention. It was also the first IGC with 25 governments taking part, and three more observing. The chapter addresses the question of whether the IGC 2003-04 was a case of rhetorical action or interstate bargaining. The answer seems to be a bit of both, but interstate bargaining in the end was decisive for the outcome.

Keywords: Constitutional Treaty; European Convention; Intergovernmental Conference (IGC); interstate bargaining; rhetorical action



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