The European Parliament's Role in Closer Eu Integration

By Richard Corbett | Go to book overview

8
From the Draft Treaty to the 1985 Intergovernmental Conference
This chapter examines this period in considerable detail. To the author's knowledge, little else has been written on the political dynamic that led from the draft Treaty to the convening of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) that negotiated the Single European Act (SEA). Particular attention will be given to the role of the Parliament and its members in this process in order to evaluate how far they contributed to triggering the 1985 treaty revision.From the outset, Parliament sought to avoid its draft Treaty being drowned at birth in a Council working party. On the contrary, it wished to broaden the debate to circles which – whilst still essentially a political elite – would be far wider than would normally deal with European initiatives. In this respect at least, it was successful.Already during the preparatory phase Parliament began to interest significant groups in the DTEU. Consultations took place between EP political groups and their corresponding national parties. Seminars were organized by the EUI with the rapporteurs, which sparked off considerable interest in academic circles, with a number of important seminars organized by universities in various Member States. (Spinelli himself was awarded several doctorates honoris causa by universities in this period.) The ETUC and the Employers' Organization UNICE both followed the work of the Committee closely and were to adopt positions supporting the DTEU, as did various interest groups.After the adoption of the DTEU, Parliament pursued four main channels in trying to build up support for Treaty reforms:
through political parties which had to take a position on the issue in their policy statements and manifestos for the European elections, having due regard to their MEPs and how they had voted on the DTEU;
direct to governments, both individually and collectively in the European Council;

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