In terms of the future outlook, we can say that the signs are that constitutionalisation will continue further, but no formal constitutional project and probably no “ordinary” treaty reforms either, are likely to occur in the near future, for a number of reasons. Given the tortuous process by which the Union managed to arrive at the Lisbon Treaty, there is a certain degree of treaty reform fatigue detectable, both among governments and electorates. Even if the Lisbon Treaty is unlikely to last the “50 years” which Giscard d’Estaing had predicted the Constitutional Treaty would last without revision, govern- ments will seek to avoid another, major treaty reform in the foreseeable future. The Lisbon Treaty is, in many ways, a much more funda- mental overhaul of institu- tions and procedures than either the Amsterdam Treaty or the Nice Treaty were. The Lisbon Treaty also includes a new article concerning the changes to the treaty revision procedure. This article (Art.33) provides for both an ordinary and a simplified procedure for changing the treaties. This means that a major reform project would – again – require the convening of a European Convention, but it would also allow minor reform steps to be taken using a simplified procedure, the so-called passarelle clause, which allows the European Council, acting unanimously, to make changes to parts of the treaty, for example with regard to the
The role of the Commission President in the Euro- pean Council (and Commissioners) receives the most focus in the different assessments of the influence of the Commission on Treaty reform. This is in part due to the controversy that has surrounded the role of President Delors in the negotiations for the Single European Act and the Maastricht Treaty. The relative decline in influence of the President of the Commission in the European Council is most clearly demonstrated by the lack of impact on the Amsterdam and Nice negotiations in the final European Council. However, this picture is still too simplistic. It is not possible to gauge the influence of the Commission at the final European Council as many of its proposals are also supported by other delegations. It is often collective pressure that provokes the final compromise and all delegations have varying degrees of impact on the final text. It should also be noted that although it is argued that the Commission is at its weakest in an IGC context in the final European Council, the Commission is the only delegation apart from the Council Secretariat which is entitled to have officials present in the negotiating room. This leads to a reporting position and to the dependence of other delegations, which in itself can have an influence on the nuances of the final compromise texts.
Another advantages of the Commission is the depth of knowledge and experience with treaty reform negotiations that it has acquired, especially at the civil servant level. In the last two IGC’s, and in the conventions, the Commission has created a task force of officials to back up the Commission representatives. Many of these officials have dealt with several treaty reform negotiations, giving them comparative advantages vis-à-vis national civil servants, who often are working in their first treaty reform negotiations due to frequent rotations in national foreign ministries. At the highest level, Commission representative Vitorino took part in the EU Charter negotiations, while Commissioner Barnier was the Commission’s representative in the 2000 IGC – giving both Commissioners first-hand experience with treaty reform negotiations. In comparison, many national representatives are dealing with their first treaty reform negotiation, putting them at a relative disadvantage.
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will heat up further the tone of the future negotia- tions, between member states, and among EU institu- tions. Since the adoption of the MFF regulation, and even more so of the own resources decision, are practically tantamount to a treaty revision – as re- flected in the need of state ratifications according to national constitutional requirements – major chal- lenges are to be expected. Ironically, however, as the UK has traditionally been the strongest opponent to any initiative in favor of expanding the EU taxing powers, or of re-designing the EU spending system, its withdrawal from the EU may increase the chances that the (remaining) member states will agree on a reform of the EU financing system.
have to revise other EU legal acts which are instead of high substantive and political salience. Following the UK withdrawal from the EU , in particular, the two most important EU legal measures which will need to be revised by the EU institutions and its member states are the decision on the allocation of seats in the European Parliament, and the rules on the fi- nancing of the EU . Both these legal acts are formally not treaty amendments, since there is no need to use the procedure of Article 48 TEU to change them. And yet, in substance, these acts have a quasi-constitu- tional status, since they deal with crucial aspects of the functioning of the EU such as the organization of the European Parliament, and the funding of the EU . In fact, the approval of these acts is subject to special legislative procedures which are akin – for all practi- cal purposes – to a treaty revision: Modifying the decision on the composition of the European Parliament and the decision on the own resources of the EU requires member states’ unanimity, and European Parliament involvement, as well as ratifica- tion by each member state according to its respective constitutional requirements. The necessity to re- adopt these crucial EU legal acts to adapt the EU to the departure of the UK will thus compel the member states to engage in the broad and complex bargaining process proper of major constitutional reforms.
Less than a year has passed since the Lisbon Treaty became part of EU law, thereby bringing to an end almost a decade of intergovernmental wrangling over EU institutional reform. Yet despite its protracted ratification process and pledges from national administrations and EU authorities that the Lisbon Treaty had closed the issue of treaty reform for the foreseeable future, a number of modifications to the EU treaties are currently in the pipeline. One such proposal, relating to the number of seats in the European Parliament, has already left the drawing board and is presently pending national ratification. 1
Why then did the Euro-skeptic member states give their consent to this move towards stronger Councils and other institutional innovations, since this obviously is not in their primary interest? I suppose they had not really an alternative, because the procedure for Treaty reform was designed in such a way that there was not much room for opposition or alternative options. To say it in other words, the methods to contain the power of veto-players, that is, the exercise of joint leadership and the delegation of powers to third actors were already practiced in the procedure to enact the reform. Thus, establishing the Convention for elaborating a Draft Constitutional Treaty was not simply a step towards improving the transparency and democratic accountability of the reform, but it implied first and foremost a delegation of powers to third actors, in order to prevent strong opposition to be expressed against a far- reaching reform. 8 Once the draft Constitutional Treaty was presented by the Convention, the integration-minded member states unison emphasised that falling behind this position would seriously threaten the whole reform. In doing so, they clearly indicated the bottom line of their but proposed most fervently a permanent president of the Council. However, it was strongly opposed against facilitating majority voting in the Council. This however shows that strengthening the Councils has different aspects, appealing to different types of member states.
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mechanism that was meant to improve transparency and democratic governance in EU Treaty reform. At the domestic level, rhetorical entrapment was equally significant. If the British Prime Minister and his government were ‘winning the argument in Europe’, as he had repeatedly pointed out in support of his declared policy of active engagement in European integration, and if his support for ‘greater transparency and accountability’ (Blair, 2001a) was credible, what did they have to fear from the establishment of the new Convention? It is this link between the domestic and the European arenas that highlights the significance of norms in political decision making. Because the two arenas are linked to each other, invoking the norm in one arena affects an actor’s
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its domestic economic malaise and with the failure of the 2005 referendum in mind, the government of President François Hollande has little interest in an experiment with treaty change. British Prime Minister David Cameron’s promise to hold a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU before 2017 and to attempt to renegotiate his country’s relationship with the EU was another cold shower for the enthusiasts of a constitutional big leap in integration. As any substantial renegotiation would require treaty change, opening this Pandora’s box would give the UK leverage on institutional reform of the EU that most other EU member states would like to avoid. Polish officials say that embarking on the path of treaty reform would boil down to “sabotage of the integration process”. Van Rompuy also backed away from the idea of treaty change after Cameron’s announcement. In London in March, he said there was “no impending need to open the EU treaties”. 4
Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the Treaty Establishing the European Community (TEC), the latter being renamed The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). All references to symbols of constitutionalism, including flag, anthem and motto, have been removed. Legislative acts will not be called laws and framework laws, but retain the old names of regulations and directives. The new post in the Constitutional Treaty of Union Minister for Foreign Affairs has been renamed High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR). Nor does the new treaty explicitly say that Union law has primacy, although it will have such primacy based on case law of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) going back to the early years of European integration. The IGC confirmed this in Declaration no. 17 attached to the treaty: “The Conference recalls that in accordance with well settled case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Treaties and the law adopted by the Union on the basis of the Treaties have primacy over the law of Member States, under the conditions laid down by the said case law” (European Union, 2008, p. 344, see also Wouters et al., 2008, p. 190).
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Sir, Wolfgang Munchau ("The madness of Europe's drift to mercantilism", June 25) seems to be worried by the removal of an explicit reference to free and undistorted competition from the provision in the future ‘Reform Treaty’ listing the policy objectives of the European Union and has doubts as to the legal implications of the protocol that the European Council has proposed in its place. As a matter of fact, competition is not currently one of the objectives of the European Community set out in Article 2 of the EC Treaty: the reference to “undistorted competition” appears only in Article 3 on the Community activities to be implemented to attain those objectives. Clearly, an objective that does not exist cannot be lost! The fact that competition is a means and not an objective of the Community has not – over the past 50 years or so – prevented the European institutions, and in particular the European Commission and the European Court of Justice, from taking effective action against any restriction or distortion of competition within the internal market, whether resulting from initiatives taken by undertakings or by member states’ public authorities. The text of the ‘Constitutional Treaty’ provided for a substantial reworking of the above provisions, with an explicit reference to “free and undistorted competition” linked to the ‘internal market’ objective. The principal effect of dropping those words from the future ‘Reform Treaty’ is to bring us back to the present situation. To avoid any risk of uncertainty as to settled law and to make fully clear that competition will continue to be one of the main policies aiming at the good functioning of the internal market, the European Council decided to provide for the protocol referred to by Mr Munchau, which paraphrases the current EC Treaty provisions. It is also worth recalling that, from a legal point of view, a protocol forms an integral part of the Treaty to which it is annexed and has the same legal value as Treaty provisions. That is why I do not share Mr Munchau's legal concerns on this issue.
The users represented mainly by the patients associations distanced themselves from the start from the reform project presenting strong criticism and concern for the future of their health. The main concern is their access to specialists and the high cost of medicine. They questioned why the reform does not eliminate the assurance sys- tem pointing out that it is a barrier to the access of service. Due to the existence of different associations, there was no evident union between them but there was a homogeneous opinion about the reform. In general, there were not many changes of opinion among the associations during the debate (see Table 1).
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The case study and the example above illustrate one approach to curriculum reform that focused on the exploitation of connections between discipline areas. The process of reform was not always straightforward, required extensive staff development time and challenged many previously held positions about the nature of teaching and learning in individual subjects. This section reflects on some of the strengths, weaknesses and tensions that can exist in an interdisciplinary arts framework and that were evident in the school in question.
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behavioral consistency and the making of interpersonal comparisons of welfare when household specific circumstances vary. Building on recent advances in empirical tax reform analysis, an equivalent income function is used as the welfare indicator. This is constructed from the explicit indirect utility function underlying the functional form used in the econometric modelling of consumer demands for rice and housing on 1981 SUSENAS data for Java. Normalizing for spatial price differentials and for variations in demographic characteristics is found to result in a reduction in measured welfare inequality. The methodology is used to explore the welfare consequences of spatial domestic rice market integration and of across the board price level changes, as would be expected to result following an external trade liberalization of Indonesia's rice markets. The reforms are simulated under various assumptions concerning the producer and consumer income effects of the price changes. The thesis also investigates alternative public
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Before 1830, to be a reformer meant principally to support parliamentary reform and other campaigns used different terms to define their objectives; Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts; Catholic Emancipation; the Abolition of slavery.(p. 85) The avoidance of ‘reform’ is explained by its association with the French Revolution and hence violence, fervour and excess: ‘The very word fell into disrepute’.(p. 13) While Burke acknowledged the need for reform, its English application would be pragmatic: concerned with adjustment rather than change, empiricism rather than speculation. Reform emerged as an alternative to revolution: as progress and improvement rather than dangerous innovation. These distinctive approaches were reflected within the parliamentary reform movement with the widespread adoption of the qualifiers ‘moderate’ and ‘radical’ (and the capitalization of ‘Reform’ and ‘Reformer’ to distinguish the latter) especially after 1810. By 1819, radical reform was identified with outside agitation among the popular classes who frequently depicted ‘reformers’ as hypocrites and backsliders. Paradoxically, their willingness to adopt the language of ‘radicalism’ freed up the term reform for moderates.
before Malta’s accession, it was not bound by the treaty and the said regulation’s obligations. On this basis, and on the fact that the Commission’s application did not specify clearly its allegations, the CJEU found in favour of Malta, and dismissed the case. 35 In a subsequent case, 36 the Commission sought a declaration from the CJEU that, by failing to decommission fire protection systems and fire extinguishers containing halon for non critical uses on board ships, and to recover such halon, Malta did not fulfil its obligations under Regulation (EC) No 2037/2000. The Maltese government contested the interpretation given by the Commission, and argued that the use of such halon was allowed by what the regulation defined as critical use. The CJEU ruled in favour of the Maltese government in this case as well, agreeing with its interpretation of the regulation. Moreover, the Commission had failed to prove to the satisfaction of the CJEU its allegations. The case was also dismissed. The CJEU found Malta had not fulfilled its obligations in three other cases, which have not been published. The first case 37 concerned the obligation of submitting the plans and outlines required under Council Directive 96/59/EC, on the disposal of various chemicals. The second case involved the level
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The European Union is not a state; hence, it does not have its own dedicated military forces, although there are a number of multi-national military and peacekeeping forces which are ultimately under the command of the EU. In order to be able to meet all these challenges and fight all these threats, the EU sets a defense budget. However, the budget 27 of the EU does not have a specific program for the CFSP. Nontheless, the expenditure of the CFSP was established in Article 28 of the Treaty of the European Union where it is stated that ¨it shall be charged to the budget of the European Community, except for such expenditure arising from operations having military or defense implications.¨ 28 Finally, the expenditure on the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) for 2007 is €159.2 million 29 , as proposed by the Council, 30 which represents an increase with respect to the 2006 budget which amounted to €102.4 millions. The following graph shows the evolution of the CFSP´s budget as well as the distribution.
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The Lisbon Treaty has also increased the possibility of some Member States going ahead without waiting for the laggards. Flexibility, multi-speed integration, in various forms, have contributed to the integration process in the past, so why not in other areas, including CFSP? Schengen cooperation started among a small group of five states. Today it involves most Member States. Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) did not include all Member States at the outset, but the number of participating states has increased since 1999, when the single currency was introduced, and more Member States are expected to join in the coming years. This is why the increased possibility of flexibility in CFSP may also turn out to be a useful tool in the future.
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What is overlooked in Petite’s analysis is that the preamble and the first few ‘principle’ articles are always going to have a tremendously important impact on the Court. First, the ECJ is going to take account of Articles 31(1) 4 and 33(4) 5 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties which emphasise the importance of the objective and purpose of the Treaties as a guide to interpretation. Second, as a result of the existence of 19 technically equally authentic language versions of the Treaties the Court has little alternative but to take an object and purpose approach. The third factor is the development of a strong Community law sui generis purposive interpretation tradition. This tradition seeks to deal with major questions of scope and conflicts of values by consideration of the objectives and purposes of the Treaties as set out in the preamble and the first few articles of the Treaties. In the EC Treaty this means the preamble, Articles 2 and 3 and certain other articles of principle such as Articles 10 on co-operation and Article 13 on discrimination. No mere protocol can achieve the same interpretative status as the preamble and the first few articles. Any close examination of the case law demonstrates the fundamental nature of Article 3(1)(g) in making competition an objective of the Community legal order, most notably in Continental Can 6 where the Court ruled that ‘If Article 3(f) [now Article 3(1)(g) ] 7 provides for the institution of a system ensuring that competition in the Common Market is not distorted, then it requires a fortiori that competition must not be eliminated. This requirement is so essential that without it numerous provisions of the Treaty would be pointless.[authors italics]’. 8
The results for the Reform Treaty voting rule in Table 2 show that citizen voting power is relatively unequal under all scenarios. The Gini coefficient for Scenario VI (41 countries including Russia) is the same as in Scenario O (EU27) although it falls below this in some scenarios. Citizen voting power is most equal following the accession of Turkey, Gini = 0.059, Scenario II, that may be largely due to the similarity in population of the two largest members, Germany and Turkey. Whereas having one country that is much larger than all the others creates an unequal power distribution, where there are two members with very large weight, a bipolar voting structure, there is a tendency for them to counteract one another. Thus the presence of Turkey would reduce Germany’s power and increase the power of other members, making the distribution more equal. The accession of Turkey would substantially increase the voting power of citizens of Poland and Spain, from 0.718 and 0.772 to 0.822 and 0.815. There is a similar effect for medium sized countries, but their relative voting power remains much lower: for example, the index for Belgium goes from 0.661 to 0.760. The effects for small countries, whose citizen voting powers are already much larger than Germany’s are quite large: for example, Malta’s goes from 1.859 to 2.442.
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