Deciding the Future of the European Union: Preference Formation and Treaty Reform
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- Dimitrakopoulos, D. & Kassim, H. Comp Eur Polit (2004) 2: 241. doi:10.1057/palgrave.cep.6110042
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The Convention on the Future of the Europe was a unique event in the history of the European Communities, but, although much has been written about its deliberations, about the Convention as a method of treaty reform, and about the merits and otherwise of the Constitutional Treaty, little attention has been paid so far to the processes by means of which governments (and EU institutions) decide their preferences with respect to the nature of the Union. This article considers how the member states form their preferences, exploring through a critical appraisal of the most elaborate theory of preference formation available — that provided by liberal intergovernmentalism (LI) — the influences on those processes. After a provisional critique of LI, it proposes alternative lines of enquiry about how EU states identify what they want, and summarizes the findings of country studies.