The Treaty of Nice is an EU
treaty which was signed in Nice, France, and thus how the Treaty of Nice
received its name. The Treaty of Nice is an important EU treaty, as it amended
the original Treaty on European Union and the Treaty of Rome so as to allow for
the European Union to expand westward into the other parts of Europe. The
Treaty of Nice did so by allowing for the European Parliament, which is the
primary legislative body of the European Union, to be expanded to 732 total
seats. This was a revision of a prior EU treaty, the Treaty of Amsterdam, which
had been a similar attempt to provide for westward expansion of the EU.
The Treaty of Nice also had
several other important provisions which changed and altered the European
Union. For example, the Treaty of Nice established a new set of courts within
the judicial system of the European Union as a whole. The courts established by
this EU treaty would thus stand below the European Court of Justice and the
Court of First Insurance, which were two of the highest courts in the EU and
would be specifically focused on special areas of law.
The Treaty of Nice was signed
in February 2001, and despite being successful and important in a number of its
intended purposes, it was ultimately unsuccessful in one: reducing the
complexity of the European Union’s institutions. As such, the European Union
established the European Convention in 2004 to remedy this situation.