This book focuses on the negotiations of what are termed the eight constitutional IGCs. These eight include the negotiations of the 1950s and 1960s on:
the European Coal and Steel Community
the European Defence and Political Community
the European Economic Community and European Atomic Energy Community
the Fouchet Plan
the Single European Act
the Maastricht Treaty
the Amsterdam Treaty
the Nice Treaty
The book challenges the neofunctionalist and liberal intergovernmentalist perspectives that have been used in the past to explain the process of IGCs. The author presents an alternative perspective in the form of an incremental model to explain the nature of negotiations at all eight constitutional IGCs.
It is also argued that the increasing frequency of IGC negotiations signifies a gradual institutionalisation of the process to the point where the constitutional IGC is becoming a regular feature on the EU's political landscape.
Governments are locked into a process of constitutional IGCs that leaves the primary legal document of the EU in a state of perpetual reform. In turn, it is argued that the incrementalism that defines the IGC negotiations shapes the entire process of European integration and the general nature of the European Union.