Explaining Italian Preferences at the Constitutional Convention

Abstract

Italy's position in the Convention represented a partial shift away from traditional national positions. This might have been expected given the apparent euro-scepticism of some parties in the government elected in 2001, and from the growing challenges Italy faced from monetary union and the internal market process. But, while the traditional rhetorical commitment to integration was toned down, on the key institutional choices facing the Convention Italy's representatives still favoured solutions generally supportive of the mainstream features of the Community method, and especially of further development of supra-national foreign and defence policy-making. The explanation lies in the interaction of the Convention process, evolving party interests and opportunities inside the Italian coalition, and the risks of Italian isolation in EU decision-making arenas arising from its close association with US policy in Iraq. A liberal intergovernmentalist explanation thus captures rather little of what happened. The explanation of Italian choices lies more plausibly in an institutionalist direction: the special nature of the Convention process, national decision-making processes and coalition relations, and the institutional logic, for Italy, of the EU itself.

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Hine, D. Explaining Italian Preferences at the Constitutional Convention. Comp Eur Polit 2, 302–319 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.cep.6110037

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Keywords

  • Italy
  • preference-formation
  • EU
  • Convention
  • constitutional treaty
  • liberal-intergovernmentalism
  • EU treaty reform