The future of Europe debate: Opportunities for British policy

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Series Details No.5, September 2001
Publication Date September 2001
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Yet another phase has been opened in the debate about reforms to the European Union as it faces further enlargement. Another Intergovernmental Conference is scheduled for 2004 and an array of preparatory discussions is under way. The first section of this paper identifies opportunities for British policy to make a mark on the unfolding debate about the 'future of Europe'. It argues that the three core themes of this debate should be: developing responsive and responsible governance; addressing key policy challenges; and engaging neighbours and partners in the 'big' Europe. A great deal of this agenda depends on the day-to-day development of the European Union rather than on radical schemes for institutional redesign. In addition this paper reproduces four articles written over the past eighteen months on the debate before and after the signing of the Treaty of Nice. These all argue that a good deal of the conventional treaty reform process has been misconceived and hence failed to address the core themes outlined in the first piece in this collection.

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