This article examines the Commission's preferences and preference formation in relation to the Convention and the negotiation of the Constitutional Treaty. Opposing rational choice accounts, which explain Commission action in terms of the tendency of bureaucratic actors to seek to maximise power, status and opportunities, it argues that the Commission is best seen as an internally differentiated arena, from which preferences emerge as a result of complex interactions that entail the use of power, institutionalised myths and routines. It contends, moreover, that, in contrast to earlier rounds of treaty reform, the Commission was an ineffective performer in the debate on the future of Europe. As well as committing tactical and strategic mistakes, the Commission was disadvantaged by the explicitly political nature of the exercise and the opportunity structure of the Convention compared to previous IGCs.
- Congresses and Conventions
- European Union