The government and politics of the European Union

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The government and politics of the European Union Powered By Docstoc
					       Oral presentation of chapter 6:
The Constitutional and Lisbon Treaties
The Constitutional Convention
            3 basic challenges:

  To guide citizens to get closer to the
  European conception and
  To organise politics and European
  political area
  To develop a EU in a stable state
The Constitutional Convention
              5 key-issues to check:
 Better definition and separation of
 Simplification on Union instruments
 Increase democracy, transparency and
 Reorganisation and simplification of the
 Agreement and long term management of a
 Constitutional text of the Union
The working of the Constitutional
Organized in 4 forums:
1. The Office of the President – focus on the Convention
2. The Praesidium – provide an orientation and
   assuring the organization of the work and the
   finalization of the tasks
3. Workings Groups – examine specific issues
4. Plenary Sessions – debate on general subjects,
   deliberate on workshop’s reports and build the final
      The Intergovernmental
        Conference (IGC)
     In octobre 2003 -> 2 issues remained:

The size of the College of Commissioners.
 Before 2009, its size should be reduce to 15

The votes rules for the Council of Ministers.
 Qualified majority voting (QMV) should be
 abandoned and be replaced by a double
 majority system
The contents of the Constitutional
 Treaty (CT): 6 important features
1. The document is not as simple as hoped
2. The most of CT content comes from previous
3. The new content consists in small amendments
4. Give a better coherence and identity to the Union
5. No impact on the intergovermental /
   supranational balance
6. Great symbolic significance with the use of the
   word “Constitution”.
     Constitutional Treaty signature

              Ratification process
                     (First deadline = 2006)

   Referendum                  vs     Parliamentary vote
                                             
CT’s symbolic character              Customary way of ratification
Domestic political pressures
 Parliamentary votes:           Referendum
   CT approved by 9                1 « yes » vote in Spain
    member states                   2 « no » votes in
                                        France
                                        The Netherlands

                         Ratification process into doubt
         Reasons for rejections
 Form of the treaty seen as embracing elite rather than
 popular wishes

 Social and economic values = hypothetically
 dangerous to existing welfare systems
   = directly linked to the treaty

 Non treaty matters (enlargement)
          Period of reflection
 2006: EU leaders agree that
   The constitutional aspects of the CT would have to be
   Routine reformist aspects should largely remain

 Treaty reform process (beginning during the
          German Council Presidency)
 March : Berlin declaration (second deadline = the
 2009 EP elections)

 June : decision to open an IGC : tight mandate = draw
 up a « Reform Treaty »

 July: opening of IGC = largely a technical exercise

 Informal summit : agreement on the content of the
 new treaty
   December: signature by national

       The named « Reform Treaty » became
              the « Lisbon Treaty »

Ratification process :
  - Approval by parliamentary votes in most of
   the countries, although…
       Delays in some countries
 2008: Irish referendum = rejection

 2009: The German Constitutional Court withholds the

 Poland and Czech Republic = eurosceptic presidents

 September: German Parliament passes the law
 required by the Constitutional Court

 October: - second irish referendum = approval
              - Polish president approves

 November : Czech Republic signed the ratification
     Lisbon Treaty's entrance into force - 1st
                 december 2009

Why Lisbon Treaty = CT?          Why Lisbon treaty ≠ CT?

                                  A Treaty more acceptable to
 Renegotiation and extended
  debates unwanted
                                  To accomodate a (limited)
                                   number of pressing national
 Modifications provided by CT     and institutional interests
  = still relevant and useful     New issues on the political

The Commission
The president of the Commission must now be
nominated by the European Council.

The European Council
Is a separate institution distinct from the
Council of minister, and elects its own
president by QMV. The responsibilities of
the president are confined to european Council
 Created a new president :

Creation of a permanent president of the
 European Council = mandate of two and half

Reason = help ensure policy continuity, raise the
 EU's profite on the world stage.

Possibility to provide a EU leadership much
  Simplified voting rules :

Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) instead of
 unanimous voting.

Decision made trough QMV            must be
 approved by double majority          55% EU member
 ( 15 states) representing at least 65% of the EU
 population. Enforcement on 2014

QMV provisions in the Council        makes it easy
 the decision in some policy areas.
 New power given for the European parliament :

 EP     more rights under the lisbon treaty.

 Same weight as the European Council as regards
 certain low

 EP and Council become co-equal decison makers.

 The procedures is re-named : the ordinary legislative
 Granted to the Eu a legal personality :

 EU gained a legal personality thanks to lisbon treaty.

 The charter for Fundemental Rights        give full
 legal status.

 Charter is not incorporate into the treaties but
 proclaimed by the president of the Commission,
 Council, and EP

 Article 6 TEU have the same legal value as the
 The common Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
 and a Common Defense Policy.

 A new high representative of the Union for Foreign
 Affairs and security policy = to boost the EU's
 international visibility.

 The responsibilities of the Council high representative
 combine into one position.

 CSDP = mutual assistance clause between member
 Tackle the democratie deficit :

Citizens      can invite the Commission to
 submit a legislative proposed by collecting one
 million signatures ( in a significant number of
 member states )

Extention to the applicability of the co-decision.
Difference between the Lisbon Treaty
 and previous treaties
Result similar to the previous treaties
Any transformation of the EU nature.
Symbolic aspects would have given the
 Union the “appearance” of a State
Short time line of the lisbon Treaty
   December 2001 : Laeken declaration on the future European Union
   February 2002 : Constitution Convention opens
   October 2003: IGC opens
   October 2004: formal signature on the CT in Rome
   May/June 2004: “No” result in CT ratification referendum in France and the
   March 2007: Berlin Declaration presents the wish to salve the CT issues
   June 2007: the European Council organises a nex IGC to provide a base of
   Decembre 2007: Lisbon Treaty is signed by national leaders
   June 2008: “No” result for Lisbon Treaty in ratification referendum in
   June 2009: the European Council provides some clarifications and
   October 2009: “Yes” result for Lisbon Treaty in a second ratification
    referendum in Ireland. The Polish President signs the laws that ratifies the
    Lisbon Treaty
   November 2009: the Czech President signs to the laws that ratifies the
    Lisbon Treaty
   December 2009: Lisbon Treaty enters into force

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