De Europese Unie in 2006 : geen nieuws is ook geen goed nieuws
In 2006, the Eu ropea n Union was still sufferin g from a legitimacy crisis following the ill-fated referenda on the Constitutional Treaty in 2005. Nevertheless, this overview of different intern al and extern al European initiatives in 2006 presents a more ambiguous picture. On the one hand, EU policy-makers fa iled 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 proposa ls (' Plan D', a mini-Constitution) to turn the tide. In spite of clear signs of enlargement fatigue, two new member states (Roman ia 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 politica! agenda, with ambitious proposals from the European Commission, but this did not result in specific EU policy decisions. The EU did finally reach a comprom ise 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 extern al 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 initiati ves in the areas of migration and energy also link up with Europe's external policies - especially in relation to the EU's neighbouring regions.
How to Cite:
Vos, H. & Orbie, J. & Schrijvers, A., (2007) “De Europese Unie in 2006 : geen nieuws is ook geen goed nieuws”, Res Publica 49(2-3), p.363-381.