Nice Try: Should the Treaty of Nice be Ratified? Monitoring European Integration 11
Author(s): Richard Baldwin, Erik Berglof, Francesco Giavazzi, Mika Widgrén
Publication Date: 08 Jun 2001
ISBN: 1 898128 56 1
EU Member nations must decide whether to ratify the Nice Treaty. This Report, written by a team of distinguished academics to inform these decisions, is highly critical of the Treaty but argues that it should be passed since it is ?repairable? and rejecting it would delay Eastern enlargement. The Report proposes two ?emergency repairs? to the Treaty that could be implemented at or before the next Intergovernmental Conference in 2004. The authors marshal the best available empirical evidence and analytic techniques to show that the Treaty fails to meet its goal of adjusting EU decision-making to the realities of a Union with 27+ members. Far from maintaining the EU?s ability to act after enlargement, the authors argue that the Nice reforms reduce EU27 decision-making efficiency below what it would have been with no reform. This in turn will dry up the flow of new legislation, thus stripping the Commission and European Parliament of power and the Community Approach of its viability. The Report argues that unless the Treaty is mended to restore efficiency, future integration will be guided by intergovernmental initiatives in which large members play a large role due to their economic dominance. The Treaty also fails to solve a problem that the Report identifies as the ECB?s ?numbers problem? ? enlargement without reform would damage the ECB?s decision-making capacity, hindering it from making hard choices at the right time. The Treaty does include an ?enabling clause? to help solve this problem before IGC2004; the report analyses the possible solutions and proposes a specific reform.