Abstract and Keywords
Like any political system, the EU was not built in one day, but its institutional structure, common policies, and rules have gradually been shaped on a day-to day basis, with regular moments of consolidation and reform at intergovernmental conferences (IGCs). Between the signature of the Rome Treaties (1957) and the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989), there was only one IGC, leading to the SEA (1987). In contrast, in the period 1991–2000 there were three IGCs, leading to the Treaties of Maastricht, Amsterdam, and Nice respectively. Following a brief introduction on the preparatory stage of the 1996–1997 IGC, this article starts by giving an overview of its main players. Secondly, it examines the main themes that were discussed and presents the results. The conclusion takes stock of the outcome and presents some final remarks on how to make sense of the Amsterdam IGC.
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