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De Europese Unie in 2006: geen nieuws is ook geen goed nieuws

Auteurs Hendrik Vos, Jan Orbie en An Schrijvers
Auteursinformatie

354415 Hendrik Vos
Docent Vakgroep politieke wetenschappen UGent.

354418 Jan Orbie
Doctor-assistent Vakgroep politieke wetenschappen UGent.

354421 An Schrijvers
Assistent Vakgroep politieke wetenschappen UGent.
  • Samenvatting

      In 2006, the European Union was still suffering from a legitimacy crisis following the ill-fated referenda on the Constitutional Treaty in 2005. Nevertheless, this overview of different internal and external European initiatives in 2006 presents a more ambiguous picture. On the one hand, EU policy-makers failed to gather momentum for new and ambitious European initiatives; on the other hand the EU did make some progress in a number of new and running dossiers.
      The extended reflection period did not result in a solution for the institutional impasse, despite some limited proposals (‘Plan D’, a mini-Constitution) to turn the tide. In spite of clear signs of enlargement fatigue, two new member states (Romania and Bulgaria) acceded to the EU. The enlargement negotiations with Croatia and Turkey continued – even though the talks with Turkey were somewhat scaled down. In 2006 the energy issue reached the top of the European political agenda, with ambitious proposals from the European Commission, but this did not result in specific EU policy decisions. The EU did finally reach a compromise on other dossiers that had been stuck in the EU decision-making machinery for years, such as the Bolkestein directive on the liberalisation of services and the REACH regulation on chemicals. The EU’s external and foreign policies were characterised by the EU’s involvement in a number of crisis situations (Lebanon, Congo) and the elaboration of the European Neighbourhood Policy (Action Plans). EU initiatives in the areas of migration and energy also link up with Europe’s external policies – especially in relation to the EU’s neighbouring regions.

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