To look at issues more closely, the Convention decided
to set up working groups on specific subjects which are difficult to go into
in depth at plenary sessions. As the work of the Convention progresses, other
working groups may be set up.
Each group meets to discuss questions on which it will have to produce a detailed
At the end of each meeting of the working groups a summary is published.
The principle of subsidiarity is that - except in areas
where it has exclusive competence - the Union should only act when its
action is more effective than action at national, regional or local level. This
is a basic principle of the Union's operations.
How can verification of compliance with the principle of subsidiarity best be
ensured? Should a verification mechanism or procedure be introduced? Should
such a procedure be political and/or judicial in character?
Working group on the principle
Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union:
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,
which was drawn up by a convention, was adopted on 18 December 2000.
It establishes the moral and ethical values which are common to all the Member
States of the Union.
If it is decided to include the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the Treaty:
how should this be done, and what would be the consequences thereof? What would
the consequences be of accession by the Community/Union to the European Convention
on Human Rights?
Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
Working group on the Charter
The European Union came into being through the Maastricht Treaty
in 1993. It is presented in the Treaty as a "a new stage in the process
of creating an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe". It rests
on three "pillars", the first covers the Community dimension
(common agricultural policy, transport, internal market etc),
the second covers the common foreign and security policy, and the third covers
police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.
Nonetheless, the Union does not have an explicit legal personality.
What would the consequences be of explicit recognition of the legal personality
of the EU, and of a fusion of the legal personalities of the EU and the European
Community? Might they contribute to simplification of the Treaties?
For more details about the Union and its policies :
Working group on legal personality
As stated by the Laeken Declaration, "the European
project also derives
its legitimacy from democratic, transparent and efficient institutions. The
national parliaments also contribute towards the legitimacy of the European
project". The declaration on the future of the Union annexed to the
Treaty of Nice had already stressed the need to address the role of national
parliaments in the European architecture.
How is the role of national Parliaments carried out in the present architecture
of the European Union? What are the national arrangements which function
best? Should new mechanisms/procedures be envisaged at national or European
Treaty of Nice
Working group on national parliaments
Complementary competences cover those areas in which the
Union is limited to complementing and supporting the activities of the Member
States, or to adopting measures to encourage cooperation and coordination.
How should "complementary" competence be treated in future? Should
Member States be accorded full competence for matters in which the Union at
present has complementary competence, or should the limits of the Union's complementary
competence be spelled out?
Working group on complementary
The new term of governance brings together several concepts:
good management, efficient organisation, transparency and responsibility.
These four concepts, united in one word, are of course essential for the future
The introduction of the single currency implies closer economic and financial
cooperation. What forms might such cooperation take?
Working group on economic governance
Composition of the working groups