The coming enlargement of the European Union is an opportunity and a challenge for taking decisions on a substantial reform of its institutional framework. After the negative experience of the past Intergovernmental Conferences leading to the Treaties of Amsterdam and Nice, the preparation of the forthcoming Intergovernmental Conference by the European Convention gives hope for a settlement which not only prepares the Union for its enlargement from 15 to 25 or more member states but also comes up with an entirely revised text of the existing treaties. Enlargement without substantial changes of its institutional architecture would lead to suicide of the European Union, contrary to the interests of both the current and the future member states. Instead of being inspired by a state model of political organisation, the constitution of the enlarged Union will be conceived following the principles of multilevel constitutionalism as a tool for the EU citizens to achieve their common goals, complementary to but not substituting the member states and their constitutions.
Contribution to an International Conference on "Law and Governance in an enlarged Europe" at the Columbia Universtity, City of New York April 4-5, 2003, to be published by George A. Bermann, 2003