The Treaty of Amsterdam: Towards a New Institutional Balance
This paper analyses the so-called 'Draft Treaty of Amsterdam' of 19 June 1997, focusing on the changes concerning the institutions and the decision-making procedures. It is argued that the sum of envisaged changes will considerably alter the institutional balance between the three main actors, i.e. the Commission, the Council and the European Parliament. The latter, in particular, will have an increased influence vis-à-vis the Commission (via the investiture procedure) and a greater say vis-à-vis the Council (in the codecision procedure). With regard to the internal organisation of the three institutions, too, remarkable changes are on the horizon. The roles of the Committee of the Regions and of the national parliaments in EC policy-making have been consolidated and clarified respectively. We conclude with an overall assessment of the results of the IGC 1996/97. The paper includes a synopsis of all Treaty changes in the procedural field, and a graph presenting the new codecision procedure.
IGC 1996; institutions; transparency; Amsterdam Treaty; European Parliament; European Commission; Council of Ministers; democracy; law; political science
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