Starting from the assumption that the EU can be analysed as a comparative political system, Simon Hix draws on basic considerations of comparative constitution for a 'multi-ethnic, continental-scale political system' (Lijhart) two basic issues have to be addresses: the vertical design, i.e. the power relations between the centre and the states (allocation, separation/fusion of policy competences, resolution of competence disputes) and the horizontal dimension, i.e. the representation in and accountability of the central institutions (executive-legislative relations, organisation of representation and decision-making, selection of legislature and executive). Reaching the conclusion that the Treaty of Nice has led to a growing centralisation of policy competences and to increasingly fused majorities for selecting executive power and for enacting legislation, Hix stresses two major questions to be addressed by the newly launched 'Constitutional Convention': should there be fused/centralised or separated/judicialised institutions and should these institutions be majoritarian or allow for multiple-veto-players and divided government
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