in: Journal of common market studies, Volume 37, p. 59-120
ISSN: 0021-9886 (print), 1468-5965 (electronic)
Explains the process and outcome of negotiating the Oct. 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam, examines provisions on closer cooperation, and discusses the trend towards reassertion of national control; 3 articles.
Ambivalent in Amsterdam Paul Hollander Ian Buruma, Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance (New York: Penguin Press, 2006), 288 pp., $24.95. THERE HAVE been three major J. ideological-political movements in the 20th and early 21st centuries which most explicitly and purposefully exploited and harnessed the capacity for hatred to the pursuit of political objectives: Nazism, Communism and now radical Islam.
The Treaty of Amsterdam was the result of the 1996–1997 Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) among the then 15 EU member states (March 1996–June 1998). Its three core objectives were making Europe more relevant to its citizens, enabling it to work better and preparing it for enlargement, and giving it greater capacity for external action. It was the first IGC since the enlargement with Austria, Finland, and Sweden, who had joined the European Union (EU) in 1995. The negotiations took place in the aftermath of the collapse of the communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe, opening the prospect of an eastern enlargement. Shortly before the start of the IGC, the Madrid European Council (December 1995) had confirmed that the decisions on launching the accession negotiations would be taken within six months of the conclusion of the IGC.The Treaty was not the critical juncture in European-integration history, which the previous Maastricht Treaty had been. The 1996–1997 IGC tried to complete some of the unfinished work of its predecessor. This included the further extension of qualified majority voting (QMV) and codecision, the shaping of a European security policy and making further progress in dossiers such as energy, civil protection, and the hierarchy of norms. Still it would be erroneous simply to downplay the Treaty as a mere "leftover" text. Under the leadership of the successive Italian, Irish, and Dutch presidencies, the heads of state or government reached an agreement on an employment chapter, a strengthening of social policy, the creation of the position of a high representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), a partial communitarization of cooperation in the field of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA), provisions on flexible integration and the integration of Schengen into the Treaty. Highly sensitive issues such as the reweighting of the Council voting system and the size of the European Commission were postponed to the next IGC. After a relatively smooth ratification process, which raised little public attention, the Treaty of Amsterdam entered into force on May1, 1999.
The results of a res project on small local-pressure groups in Amsterdam, treated within D. Easton's (A SYSTEMS ANALYSIS OF POLITICAL LIFE, New York, NY: 1967) theoretical framework for the analysis of pol'al systems. The municipality of Amsterdam was considered as the pol'al system & the rest of the Netherlands constituted the parameters of the system. The main analytical category used was 'demands,' because the concept 'support' caused considerable problems of operationalization. The activities of the groups are analyzed in 4 phases: feedback-stimuli, feedback-response, feedback-information, & output reaction. In the 1st phase a main distinction was introduced between groups which emerged as a result of an output of the authorities (the intra-genetic), & groups which emerged as a result of a situation in the parameters of the system (the extra-genetic). The 2nd phase includes the interpretation of the stimuli & the resulting formulation of demands. In the 3rd phase a distinction was made between indirect information feedback by means of activities such as demonstrations & appearance in the media of COMM; & direct information feedback by means of a direct contact with the authorities. The 4th phase was mainly dedicated to the behavior of the authorities. The main result of the res was the distinction between intra- & extra-genetic groups. This distinction was important for the following characteristics of the groups: intra-genetic groups more often appoint one man as the spokesman of the group; they consider more the people of certain parts of Amsterdam as concerned by their demands; they are more active in approaching the media of COMM; & are more often approached by authorities. Extra-genetic groups consider more the whole pop of Amsterdam or even the Netherlands as concerned by their demands; are more often related to pol'al parties; have less formal responsibility to the concerned people or members; & feel themselves less tied to the wishes of the people concerned. 5 Figures, 18 Tables. Modified HA.