The Jacques Delors Institute has been committed since its creation to producing research and propositions concerning institutions. It is currently working on three general themes.*
Firstly, it is important to look closely at how the institutional trapezium has evolved and adapted to new demands. How does the Commission make use of its right of initiative? What is the role of the European Council, an “institution” since the Lisbon Treaty? Has the practice of voting in the Council changed in an enlarged Europe? What has been the impact of the European Parliament’s increased power (certainly the most remarkable change of the last 20 years)?
The Jacques Delors Institute makes special effort to produce up-to-date analyses of the “community method” as practised, to allow a better understanding of its relevance to contemporary Europe. Current events are particularly interesting in this regard: the succession of crises has led to numerous meetings of heads of state and government, and organisation of these has been simplified by the arrival of the new “permanent president” of the European Council as created by the Lisbon Treaty. This change has relaunched and reinvigorated the classic debate between promoters of the “community method” and those of the “intergovernmental method” – a debate that might seem theoretical but that is in reality essential for the EU and for us all.
Finally, the Jacques Delors Institute is following closely the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. This medium- to long-term project also concerns intergovernmental treaties such as the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance within the Economic and Monetary Union (“budgetary pact”) and the European Stability Mechanism treaty. The aim is to better define an overarching political vision to which should adhere, and by which should be measured, the next steps of institutional reform.