The inter-institutional balance of power within the EU is central to the new constitutional order. It is not therefore surprising that this topic, which is dealt with in Title IV of Part 1 of the Constitution, was contentious. This was evident in the process employed at the Convention. The Convention's general three-stage methodology of listening, examination, and proposal was not applied to the deliberations about institutions. There was no Working Group. The Convention discussions about institutions only began formally in January 2003. The Praesidium submitted its proposals to the Convention in April 2003. Full discussion of the draft articles concerned with institutions only occurred in the plenary session on 15-16 May 2003. There was no second reading in plenary about these articles. The Praesidium opted instead for consultations with the four constituent groups, governments, MEPs, National MPs, and the Commission, which took place on 4 June 2003. Formal text of the revised articles on the institutions only became available on 10 June, a mere three days before the concluding session on 13 June.
This short piece cannot deal in detail with the many issues concerning the institutional provisions of the Constitutional Treaty. It is designed to be a brief guide to the relevant issues