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Treaty Reform

Page history last edited by Jasmine Ganeshalingam 13 years ago

The Treaty of Lisbon (also known as the Reform Treaty) is a treaty designed to streamline the workings of the European Union (EU) with amendments to the Treaty on European Union (TEU, Maastricht) and the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC, Rome), the latter being renamed Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) in the process. The stated aim of the treaty is "to complete the process started by the Treaty of Amsterdam and by the Treaty of Nice with a view to enhancing the efficiency and democratic legitimacy of the Union and to improving the coherence of its action."






The Treaty of Lisbon was signed by the Heads of State or Government of the 27 Member States in Lisbon on 13 December 2007


Source: http://euobserver.com/onm/media/file1/Sj7GBB.png


The Treaty amends the current EU and EC treaties. It aims to provide the Union with the legal framework and tools necessary to meet future challenges and to respond to citizens' demands of an expanding EU. The Treaty aims to create: -

  1. A more democratic and transparent Europe
  2. A more efficient Europe
  3. A Europe of rights and values, freedom, solidarity and security
  4. Europe as an actor on the global stage[1]




What changes does the Lisbon Treaty make, and how does it affect the process of European integration?


The abolition of the three pillars


The Lisbon Treaty aims to lose the three pillars which were crafted for the Maastricht Treaty. The first and third (judicial cooperation in criminal matters and to police cooperation)will be merged into one system. The second pillar, which governs a common foreign policy and security policy (CFSP), is however excluded in the amalgamation of the pillar structures. This means that the CFSP will retain a visibly separate identity within the EU Treaty.

Such change of the Lisbon Treaty will thus expand the competence which the EU has the power to exercise. 



Exclusion of provisions that explicate the doctrine of supremacy – why?


Prior to the drafting of Lisbon Treaty, the principle that EC law prevails over national law in the event of conflict was never provided in any of the constitutional treaty. It was founded by the European Court of Justice: see Case 26/62 Costa v ENEL.



Accession to the ECHR



Debates on Institution Reform

          Main article: Instiutional Reform and the Lisbon Treaty


This section examines the impact that the Lisbon Treaty would have on the main institutions of the European Union - the Parliament, Commission and Council. 



Debates on Political Integration

Main article: Political Integration and the Lisbon Treaty


The European Union started out as a free trade zone and built considerable political integration over a period of several decades. But the EU is far from a unified state and far from a satisfactory Europe-wide democratic order, while substantial sovereignty still remains with the EU’s member governments. In a globalizing world, nations feel pressure to join trade and political pacts. Often, these international groupings erode national democracy while offering diminished accountability at the wider policy-making level. How, then, can trade pacts be subject to democratic accountability and how can integration proceed without losing the advantages of smaller-scale political process? The internationalists may be naive enthusiasts, while the nationalists may often be bigoted and reactionary. But somewhere in this debate lie the core issues of governance in a globalizing and integrating planet.



Debates on Legal Integration

Main article: Legal Integration and the Lisbon Treaty 



Debates on Economic Integration

Main article: Economic Integration and the Lisbon Treaty



Debates on Social Integration

Main article: Social Integration and the Lisbon Treaty 



Other Debates


The Irish Problem 


The treaty was rejected by Irish voters in a referendum on 12 June 2008 and, under EU rules, it cannot enter into force if any of the 27 member states fails to ratify it.

The Czechs have delayed their parliamentary ratification and Poland's President Lech Kaczynski has refused to ratify the treaty for the time being, calling it "pointless".

The treaty, signed in Lisbon in December 2007, was drawn up to replace the draft European constitution, which was thrown out by voters in France and the Netherlands in 2005.


  • The countries that have not yet ratified the treaty press on with ratification despite the Republic of Ireland's No vote. By the time that process ends, a solution for the Irish "exception" might have been negotiated. That might mean an extra protocol with more Irish opt-outs and guarantees on sensitive issues such as abortion and neutrality.
  • The EU puts the ratification process on hold and carries on as before, according to the rules of the existing Nice Treaty. The "streamlining" changes, such as the slimmed-down Commission, the new job of EU president and the new post of foreign policy chief, would be put on hold; the EU might resume negotiations on a replacement treaty some time in the future.
  • The EU scraps the Lisbon Treaty, but comes up with a new one, cherry-picking key parts of Lisbon and repackaging them in a shorter version more comprehensible to voters throughout Europe. The ratification process starts again and Ireland holds another referendum. Irish voters did reject the Nice Treaty in 2001 - then said Yes to it just over a year later, in a referendum re-run. But the constitution debacle in 2005 makes that option more difficult now.
  • Countries keen on further EU integration form an informal club inside the EU and a "two-tier" Europe develops. That idea has been mooted by Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker. Ireland, the UK and a few other countries which prefer a looser union would stick to various opt-outs, without formally ratifying Lisbon.


See also



Approved by parliament: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK
Defeated by referendum: Irish Republic
Challenges: Legal objections delayed ratification in Czech Republic, Polish president also delaying ratification








External Links


European Union: Treaty of Lisbon Homepage


Treaty of Lisbon: Full Text


Treaty of Lisbon: General Information, Full Text, and the Final Act


Q&A on the Lisbon Treaty


Treaty of Lisbon: Ratification Monitor




  1. http://europa.eu/lisbon_treaty/glance/index_en.htm

Comments (3)

Andy said

at 12:49 am on Dec 8, 2008

A good start to the article. I would question the inclusion of these particular references however, as they look to be copied and pasted directly from wikipedia and as such do not refer to anything specific to this article as of now.

Isabel Lu said

at 1:29 am on Dec 8, 2008

Yes, I agree. I am tempted to delete the reference...

Christopher Guerrero said

at 3:32 pm on Mar 1, 2009

Picture needs to be properly referenced, and checked to ensure we are not breaking any copyright laws


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