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The Reforms in the Justice and Home Affairs Domain: the End of the ‘Third Pillar’?

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Chapter Summary

The Constitutional Treaty provides for a range of substantial reforms in the domain of justice and home affairs (JHA) which would partially overcome the current 'pillar' divide and its negative implications for EU decision-making and implementation as well as current democratic and judicial control deficits. If the Constitutional Treaty would not mark the end of the 'third pillar,' the Commission's passerelle initiative of June 2006 certainly would. This chapter provides an assessment of the Constitutional Treaty reforms in the JHA domain with a focus on the question of the abolition of the 'third pillar,' and then evaluate the Commission's passerelle initiative as a move which would in a sense complete this abolition - but with at least as many advantages as disadvantages. These in turn can bring out some of the relative advantages of the Constitutional Treaty as a balanced package of reforms.

Keywords: Commission's passerelle; Constitutional Treaty reforms; EU decision-making; judicial control deficits; justice and home affairs (JHA); third pillar



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