The overall picture presented by the media regarding the two day and two night Amsterdam meeting of the Heads of State and Government in June 1997 was largely negative. The main reason for the negativity was that the Intergovernmental Conference (“IGC”), by failing to agree on Treaty amendments concerning the size of the Commission and the weighting system for qualified majority voting in the Council, supposedly could not produce satisfactory responses as to the need to reform the institutions of the European Union with a view to its next enlargement. Is this picture justified in light of the actual outcome of the IGC? It certainly would be if the IGC's scope had been limited to institutional reform and if the IGC had not produced any concrete results in the institutional field. But neither of these statements is true. One only needs to look at the changes brought about by the Treaty of Amsterdam to appreciate the extent of the reform. The purpose of this Article is to provide such an illustrative overview of the reform, with particular emphasis on institutional aspects. This will be done against the background of the preparation and development of the IGC.
Jean-Claude Piris and Giorgio Maganza,
The Amsterdam Treaty: Overview and Institutional Aspects,
22 Fordham Int'l L.J. S32
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol22/iss6/3