The Conference on the Future of Europe A New Model to Reform the EU?
DCU Brexit Institute – Working Paper N. 12 - 2019
17 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2020
Date Written: January 7, 2020
The paper offers a first analysis of the recent plan to establish a Conference on the Future of Europe to reform the European Union (EU), comparing this initiative with two historical precedents to relaunch the EU – namely the Conference of Messina and the Convention on the Future of Europe – and considering the legal rules and political options for treaty reform in the contemporary EU. To this end, the paper overviews prior efforts to reform the EU, and points out the conditions that led to the success or failures of these initiatives. Subsequently it examines the technicalities of the EU treaty amendment rules and emphasizes the challenge towards treaty reform resulting from the need to obtain unanimous approval by all member states. The paper then assesses the increasing tendency by member states to use inter-se international treaties – particularly in response to the euro-crisis – and underlines how these have introduce new ratification rules, overcoming unanimity. Drawing lessons from these precedents, finally, the paper suggests what will be a condition for the success of the Conference on the Future of Europe, and argues that this should resolve to draft a new treaty – a Political Compact – designed to push forward integration among those member states that so wish.
Keywords: Conference on the Future of Europe, EU reform, Treaty Amendments, Political Compact
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation