Author: Lars Hoffmann

Title: The Convention on the Future of Europe -
Thoughts on the Convention-Model


This article examines the difficulties the IGC-model as a treaty amending institution has encountered, especially during the 1996 and 2000 IGCs. It argues that the ICG-model has limitations and under the current circumstances is not able to provide the Union with efficient and effective treaty reforms. The paper then sets out to explore the overall framework within which the Convention has been placed by the Laeken Summit. It is argued that the Convention-model provides a much more open and diverse arena for debate and negotiations than an IGC; yet the Heads of State have attached several 'institutional safety features' so that the Convention will not overshoot the mark. Moreover, the paper analyses how the Convention has to proceed in order to secure the support of all member states during the next 2004 IGC. The Convention will only be considered successful if the final document does not provoke any vetoes and yet includes reforms which transform the Union into a more effective and transparent institution. The last part of this article argues that the Convention is a legitimate arena to produce efficient treaty reforms. It could become a more permanent institution and the Convention-model could complement the simple IGC-model as sole forum for European treaty reforms.

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Last updated on September 9th, 2004