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Crafting the Common Will: The IGC 1996 from an Austrian Perspective

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image of International Negotiation

The article analyzes the negotiations that took place within the framework of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) 1996/97, which led to the modification and amendment of the founding treaties of the European Communities. Taking as an example the Austrian case, the interaction between the various actors at national and international levels is reconstructed. The ``intergovernmental approach'' to the analysis of decision-making mechanisms in the EU is thereby criticized; the negotiations did not follow the logic of state power and multilateral bargaining, but rather a ``logic of mutual adaptation of expectations and positions.'' It is argued that the resulting Amsterdam Treaty represents a ``common will'' rather than a diplomatic bargain between sovereign states.

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Advanced Studies, Stumpergasse 56, A–1060 Vienna, Austria


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