The debate on European governance, launched by the Commission in its White Paper of July 2001, concerns all the rules, procedures and practices affecting how powers are exercised within the European Union. The aim is to adopt new forms of governance that bring the Union closer to European citizens, make it more effective, reinforce democracy in Europe and consolidate the legitimacy of the institutions. The Union must reform itself in order to fill the democratic deficit of its institutions. This governance should lie in the framing and implementation of better and more consistent policies associating civil society organisations and the European institutions. It also entails improving the quality of European legislation, making it clearer and more effective. Moreover, the European Union must contribute to the debate on world governance and play an important role in improving the operation of international institutions.