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Crafting the common will : the IGC 1996 from an Austrian perspective

Melchior, Josef

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Corporate Editor Institut für Höhere Studien (IHS), Wien
Abstract "The paper analyses the negotiations that took place in the framework of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) 1996/97 leading to the modification and amendment of the founding treaties of the European communities. Taking the Austrian case as an example the interaction between the various actors at the national and the international level is reconstructed. The author criticises the “intergovernmental approach” to the analysis of decision making mechanisms in the EU showing that the negotiations did not follow the logic of state power and multilateral bargaining but a “logic of mutual adaptation of expectations and positions”. The IGC 1996/97 exemplifies the ongoing institutionalisation of peculiar decision making procedures and the proliferation of working methods that were developed in the various arenas of European negotiations. A key element of these methods is the importance of mediating roles like the role played by the Council presidency during the IGC. It is argued that the Amsterdam Treaty represents some sort of a “common will” rather than a diplomatic bargain between sovereign states. This is due to the particular setting of the IGC 1996/97 and organisational arrangements that undermine the boundaries between the intergovernmental and the supranational, the national and the international arena, between international and domestic negotiations, and between the national and the European interest." [author's abstract]
Keywords Austria; EU Treaty; constitution-making; constitution; political negotiation; European integration; decision making; decision making process; EU member state; institutionalization
Classification European Politics
Document language English
Publication Year 1997
City Wien
Page/Pages 38 p.
Series Reihe Politikwissenschaft / Institut für Höhere Studien, Abt. Politikwissenschaft, 52
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications