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Negotiations in the European Union: The 1996 Intergovernmental Conference

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The 1996 IGC marked an important stage in the process of creating an ever closer union among the states of Europe. The IGC had a distinctive mandate and objective, but its agenda, it will be argued, was permeable and both affected and was affected by the agenda of the EU's ongoing business. This article puts the 1996 IGC in context, examines its contribution to EU constitution-building, scrutinizes the nature, actors and characteristics of EU and IGC negotiating processes, and examines factors that make for successful negotiated outcomes. It argues that the IGC has a vital constitutional function to perform, and that it has a legitimization function in respect of the deepening of European integration.

Affiliations: 1: Centre for European Studies, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, United Kingdom


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