Annette Bongardt and Francisco Torres
This article focuses on the Lisbon Strategy. The Lisbon Strategy, developed at subsequent meetings of the European Council, outlines an economic and social strategy meant to relaunch the EU within the changed context of worldwide competition and the paradigm shift to a knowledge economy and an innovation-based model of growth. The economic pillar was to create the basis for the transition to a competitive, dynamic knowledge-based economy, with emphasis on the need to adapt constantly to changes in the information society and to increase research and development. The social pillar was to modernize the European social model, investing in human resources and combating social exclusion. The environmental pillar, added at the Gothenburg European Council meeting in June 2001, called attention to the need to decouple economic growth from natural resource utilization for sustainable development.
Within a period of thirteen months, the heads of state of Italy, France, Germany, and the Benelux countries signed two treaties, the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in April 1951 and the Treaty establishing the European Defence Community (EDC) in May 1952 (known as the Treaties of Paris). This article aims to shed light on four debates or ‘fault lines’ in the literature on the ECSC and EDC treaties. It contrasts ‘materialist’ accounts of preference formation – emphasizing economic and geopolitical conditions – with constructivist accounts of preference formation stressing the subjective interpretations of material conditions. The article discusses the dynamics of interstate bargaining, and the sources of ratification successes and failures. These accounts employ – implicitly or explicitly – a rationalist bargaining approach, but disagree on whether actors' bargaining power is more centrally affected by domestic or systemic sources. Finally, the article turns to a body of literature exploring the question of institutional design. What prompted policymakers to opt for a supranational organization in the cases of the ECSC and the EDC? The fault line in this section pits proponents of functionalist and rationalist explanations for institutional design against constructivism-inspired institutionalist accounts emphasizing the legitimacy-enhancing effects of institutional choices.
On 25 March 1957, in the course of an imposing ceremony in Rome, the representatives of Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany signed a treaty instituting a European Economic Community (EEC Treaty) and a second accord establishing a European Community in Atomic Energy (Euratom). This article begins with a discussion of the processes that led to the signature of the Rome Treaties, and then considers the significance of the treaties. The striking feature of the Treaties of Rome, and the negotiation process that preceded them, is the novel willingness of the Six to subordinate their traditional sovereign rights. This perception of mutual interest ultimately derived from their leaders' judgment that they would not count in the world unless they colluded. At bottom, the Treaties of Rome derived from a shrewd assessment by the Six's leaders of their nations' diminished standing in the world and a shared determination that they would make ‘Europe’ matter again.
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.
The Treaty of Maastricht, which created the EU, was signed in Maastricht on February 7, 1992, and entered into force on November 1, 1993 after being ratified by the then twelve member states of the European Communities. This article discusses how the treaty was adopted, the economic and monetary union, the main policy changes, the new pillars, the main institutional changes, the ratification of Maastricht, and the significance of Maastricht.
Alberta M. Sbragia
The Treaty of Nice will be viewed in the history of European integration as a ‘hinge’ between the ‘old’ EU of fifteen West European states and the ‘new’ EU of twenty-seven or more states symbolized by the Lisbon Treaty. This article discusses the background to the Treaty of Nice and the context within which it was negotiated. It then discusses the actors, lays out the most contentious issues that had to be addressed, and concludes with the dynamics of bargaining.