Dans une note d'analyse de juillet 1997, la Commission européenne compare de façon systématique ce que la Commission attendait de la Conférence intergouvernementale avec le texte final du traité d'Amsterdam.
European Parliament resolution of 19 November 1997 incorporating Parliament's opinion on the Amsterdam Treaty. The European Parliament considers that the Amsterdam Treaty represents significant advances in some areas but regrets the absence from the Treaty of the institutional reforms needed for the effective and democratic functioning of an enlarged Union.
In its resolution of 22 October 1998, the European Parliament emphasises the importance of reviving the debate on the future development of the European Union and affirms that the EU’s political future requires institutional reform, which, despite notable progress, has not been achieved by the Treaty of Amsterdam.
In its Summer 1999 issue, the Federalist journal L'Europe en Formation criticises the weaknesses of the Treaty of Amsterdam in the area of European Union institutional reform which is, after all, required to allow the enlargement of the EU to include the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEECs), and identifies the implications of the forthcoming Intergovernmental Conference (IGC).
Enlargement to include the countries of Central and Eastern Europe
On 28 January 1999, on behalf of the Committee on Institutional Affairs for which he is the rapporteur, Jean-Louis Bourlanges submits a report to the European Parliament on the decision-making process in the Council in an enlarged Europe. Given the extension of the Union’s monetary and political powers and in anticipation of the forthcoming enlargement, the report considers the nature of the ‘role of the Council’ and the reform of the structures and procedures that enable it to exercise this role.
On 6 November 2000 in Dublin, one month before the Nice European Council, Bertie Ahern, Irish Prime Minister, delivers an address in which he outlines the political and institutional implications of the forthcoming enlargement of the European Union.
On 6 December 2000, at a round table organised by the Nice Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nicole Fontaine, President of the European Parliament, discusses the political, institutional and economic implications of the Nice European Council of 7, 8 and 9 December 2000.