One year after the Treaty of Nice and the Nice Declaration, which calls for institutional reform to be pursued beyond the 2000 Intergovernmental Conference (IGC 2000), the European Council, meeting in Laeken, adopted a Declaration on the Future of the European Union, or Laeken Declaration, on 15 December 2001, committing the Union to becoming more democratic, transparent and effective.
This Declaration poses 60 targeted questions on the future of the Union, around four main themes: the division and definition of powers, the simplification of the treaties, the institutional set-up and moving towards a Constitution for European citizens. It convened a Convention bringing together the main stakeholders to examine the fundamental questions raised by the future development of the Union so as to prepare in as broad and transparent a way as possible for the 2004 IGC.
The Convention concluded its work on 10 July 2003 after reaching agreement on the proposed Constitutional Treaty. On 18 June 2004 the Heads of State or Government of the Member States reached a compromise agreement on the draft European Constitution prepared by the Convention.