The Convention on the Future of Europe - so Far

The Federal Trust Constitutional Online Paper Series No. 18/03

11 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2004

See all articles by John Temple Lang

John Temple Lang

University of Dublin - Trinity College; Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Date Written: June 2003


The Convention has successfully agreed on a number of principles for the new Constitutional Treaty for Europe. The most important issue for the next InterGovernmental Conference to solve concerns the size of the Commission. The common foreign and security policy will be intergovernmental in the immediate future, so that the issues of a Council President and a Foreign Minister merely concern variations on intergovernmentalism. But the proposal to reduce the size of the Commission to ten to fifteen members would mean that at any one time half of the Member States would have no nominee as a full Member of the Commission, and therefore would not have full confidence in the Commission. This would devalue the Community method, which depends on a Commission which is fully representative and equally independent of all Member States. It will ultimately be necessary for the EU to stop handling economic issues by the Community method and foreign policy measures by an intergovernmental method. When the time comes for a single method to be chosen, it is important for the small Member States that the Commission and the Community method then in operation should be suitable, and should not have been devalued.

Keywords: Convention, draft Constitutional Treaty, intergovernmentalism, Commission

Suggested Citation

Temple Lang, John and Temple Lang, John, The Convention on the Future of Europe - so Far (June 2003). The Federal Trust Constitutional Online Paper Series No. 18/03, Available at SSRN: or

John Temple Lang (Contact Author)

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP ( email )

Rue de la Loi 57
Brussels, 1040

University of Dublin - Trinity College ( email )

2-3 College Green
Dublin, Leinster D2

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