After a long period of internal introspection and deadlock over the Constitutional Treaty, the EU can now see some light at the end of the tunnel. If successfully ratified, the new European Treaty agreed by the Head of States and Government in Lisbon may provide the appropriate institutional tools for the EU to function with 27 member states.
However, the success of institutional innovations depends not only on legal provisions, but also on the way in which the provisions are implemented. Indeed, even a cursory examination indicates that the implementation of the new proposals is unlikely to be easy, and in some cases could be a source of serious difficulties in the future.
In the absence of serious analysis aimed at this latter question, three Brussels-based think-tanks have joined forces in a collaborative effort to fill this gap. Our aim is to highlight potential problems and, where possible, to suggest ways to avoid or attenuate their negative effects.
The analysis has focused on seven main institutional and policy domains: the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Presidency of the Council, the qualified majority voting in the Council, the role of national Parliaments, enhanced cooperation and foreign policy.
These issues have been intensively debated in working groups composed of researchers, external experts, and practitioners in the field. This report reflects the substance of that collective effort.
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