Visions, votes, and vetoes: the empty chair crisis and the Luxembourg compromise forty years on

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P.I.E.-Peter Lang, 2006 - History - 339 pages
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The empty chair crisis of 1965, resolved in the Luxembourg Compromise of 1966, forms part of the dramatic past of the European Union, and is for many a turning-point in European political integration. This volume, based on new research, revisits these events. It sheds fresh light on the mixed motives of the principal member states, European institutions and third-country actors, and identifies the shadows cast over subsequent legal and political practice. The book results from a collaborative project among historians, lawyers, and political scientists. It draws on new archival material and on many insights from practitioners, both some involved in the events of 1965-66 and others engaged in subsequent negotiations in the Council of the EU. Traces of these events persist in the consensus-oriented culture in the Council, where a concern to avoid sharply polarised confrontation limits recourse to active voting, even though the formal use of qualified majority voting has been greatly extended. Arguments over agricultural policy, the EU budget and world trade negotiations thus continue to provide occasions for some member states to insist on their `very important interests'. This book stems from a co-funded project of the Fondation Paul-Henri Spaak in Brussels and of the European University Institute and the Historical Archives of the European Union in Florence.

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Contents

List of Abbreviations
11
the Luxembourg Compromise Revisited
21
The Sources of the Empty Chair Crisis its Evolution
43
Copyright

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