EU institutions & treaties

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An unstable house?

An unstable house? Reconstructing the European Commission

Alasdair Murray
05 March 2004
For fifty years, the Commission has not only overseen the EU's day-to-day functioning, it has also often led the debate on the Union's direction and future. However, over the last decade or so, the Commission has lost much of its credibility.
The EU budget

The EU budget: Common future or stuck in the past?

Iain Begg
06 February 2004
The EU's common budget is small and rather rigid. Most of its outlays are determined years in advance, and most of them go on just two policies, namely support for farmers and poorer regions. Yet the EU budget invariably attracts acrimonious debate and close scrutiny out of all proportion to its economic significance.
EU constitution

Should Britain hold a referendum on the EU Constitution?

Steven Everts and Charles Grant
01 January 2004
Dear Charles,
European leaders are busy drawing up a constitution which will set out what tasks the EU should and should not perform; clarify who is responsible for what; and specify how the EU takes decisions. Once governments have agreed a final text, the question becomes: how should each country...
After the Brussels summit

After the Brussels summit: What next for the EU?

Charles Grant, Katinka Barysch, Steven Everts, Heather Grabbe, Daniel Keohane, Alasdair Murray
16 December 2003
The manner and speed at which the Brussels European Council collapsed took most observers by surprise. Heads of state and government had arrived on the morning of Friday 12 December 2003, expecting negotiations to last until late on Sunday 14.
The CER guide to the Brussels summit

The CER guide to the Brussels summit

Charles Grant, Katinka Barysch, Steven Everts, Heather Grabbe, Daniel Keohane, Alasdair Murray
05 December 2003
It is six months since the European Convention, a gathering of parliamentarians, government representatives and experts, presented its draft for an EU constitutional treaty. Since November, the EU governments – the current 15, plus the ten due to join on 1 May 2004 – have been negotiating a revision of this draft, in an 'inter-governmental conference' (IGC).
Bulletin issue 33

Issue 33 - 2003

Charles Grant, Katinka Barysch, Steven Everts, Daniel Keohane, Adam Townsend
28 November 2003
The case for a stronger European Parliament

The case for a stronger European Parliament

Lousewies van der Laan
07 November 2003
The EU urgently needs a stronger and reformed European Parliament (EP). With 60 per cent of all legislation affecting citizens' lives discussed in Brussels, EU decision-making must become more democratic.
The CER guide to the draft EU constitution

The CER guide to the draft EU constitution

03 October 2003
For the fourth time in little more than a decade, the EU is trying to overhaul its institutions and policies. The EU’s previous attempts, which culminated in the treaties of Maastricht in 1992, Amsterdam in 1997 and Nice in 2000, were less than fully successful. Citizens still perceive the EU...

A clean break for Europe

Nick Butler
01 October 2003
Europe needs to change. Those who constantly have to defend the concept of Europe against ill-informed criticism can easily slip into a defensive mode. But if we are serious about reform, we need to be on the front foot.
Bulletin issue 32

Issue 32 - 2003

Katinka Barysch, Nick Butler, Steven Everts
26 September 2003

An unconventional bargain

Steven Everts and Daniel Keohane
02 June 2003
The Convention on the future of Europe has now entered its final phase. To the surprise of many it has already reached consensus on many elements of a new constitution for the EU.
The CER guide to Giscard's draft EU constitution

The CER guide to Giscard's draft EU constitution

30 May 2003
The draft constitution for the EU published on 26 and 27 May 2003 has provoked a ferocious debate in the British press. However, on closer inspection, the text would not fundamentally change the UK’s position in the EU, and it secures nearly all of the British government’s key objectives.
European parliament

More power for the parliament

Pervenche Bérès MEP
01 April 2003
The Convention on the future of Europe is drawing up a constitution that is supposed to transform the EU. Much of the discussion has focused on the EU's executive: the powers of the Commission, the organisation of the EU presidency and the role of the European Council.
Bulletin issue 29

Issue 29 - 2003

Charles Grant, Pervenche Bérès MEP, Pierre Hassner
28 March 2003

Why Europe does not need a new president

Peter Sutherland
02 December 2002
Powerful political forces in the Convention on the future of Europe and elsewhere, are calling for the appointment of a president of the European Council.
Bulletin issue 27

Issue 27 - 2002

Friedrich Heinemann, Alasdair Murray, Peter Sutherland
29 November 2002
The future of European agriculture

The future of European agriculture

Julie Wolf
01 November 2002
The need to reform European farm policies has never been clearer. Although the Brussels European Council in October put a ceiling on farm spending, the Commission's 'mid-term review' of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will continue, and there is a real chance to change the policy's priorities over the next few years.
The timetable for enlargement

The timetable for enlargement

Heather Grabbe
21 October 2002
The Irish referendum result has removed a major uncertainty in the enlargement process. The Nice treaty agreed in 2000 contains the key institutional principles for decision-making in a Union of up to 27 member-states: the number of votes that each country has in the Council of Ministers, and how many...
New designs for Europe

New designs for Europe

Charles Grant, Katinka Barysch, Steven Everts, Heather Grabbe, Peter Hain, Ben Hall, Daniel Keohane, Alasdair Murray
04 October 2002
Everybody agrees that the EU's institutions are in bad need of reform. In the Convention on the Future of Europe, and elsewhere, a real debate has begun on how Europe should be governed.
European referendum

The case for a Europe-wide referendum

Steven Everts
01 October 2002
It is time for pro-Europeans to face up to the uncomfortable truth that the EU has a serious legitimacy problem. The anti-Europeans' most persuasive claim is that the EU is an elite project over which 'the people' have virtually no influence.