European Convention: Shaping Up?

The European Convention is about to present its ideas on the future shape of Europe. Can it successfully deal with issues as diverse as organisation, representation and defence for a union of twenty five states?

The World Today
3 minute READ

Gisela Stuart

Member of Praesidium, European Convention

Silke Pottebohm

Advisor on the European Convention

The European Union (EU) has always prided itself on its uniqueness and evolution. Over half a century, an increasing number of member states have come together and chosen to pool sovereignty when it was in their best collective interest. What started off with six members now has fifteen and is still growing. Accession treaties with ten eastern European states were signed in April and so numbers will grow to twenty five next year.

The 2001 European summit in Laeken established the Convention on the Future of Europe to enable the community to better deal with future challenges. The Convention’s role is to clarify what the EU is for, and to relate it both to current international responsibilities and the demands of its citizens. Questions like democratic accountability or how Europe deals with the changed security environment after the collapse of the Soviet Union remain unresolved and need answers.

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