The role and impact of the Council Secretariat in EU Treaty reform
The EU’s Council Secretariat plays a very important but overlooked role in helping EU governments reform EU Treaties, but the dependence of governments on the Secretariat has ‘costs’, in that outcomes are systematically skewed towards the rational-legalistic and pro-integrative/pro-Council preferences of the Secretariat. The paper first develops a theory for why governments delegate leadership functions to the Secretariat, and what effects this delegation can have. Thereafter the paper undertakes a comparative case study of two rounds of EU Treaty reform; the negotiation of the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1996-97, and the Constitutional Treaty in 2003-4. It is found that the Secretariat was more than a mere facilitator of agreement, and that leadership by the Secretariat had a significant impact upon the form of the final Treaties.
International Studies Association, 2006 Annual Convention, 2006
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International Studies Association Annual Convention 2006, San Diego, CA, USA