For fifteen years, the European Union has been preparing, negotiating and ratifying changes to its founding treaties. The Single European Act, the Maastricht Treaty and the Treaty of Amsterdam were, to varying degrees, important stepping–stones to closer integration. The latest set of changes should be finalised at the European Council in Nice.
An unsuspecting British public is about to hear new warnings of the imminent rise of a European superstate. The objective is clear: to prepare European Union institutions for enlargement – an enlargement which means nearly thirty member states. There is a consensus that the expansion of the Union is an historical necessity.