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
  institutions
  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
 competences
 Simplification on Union instruments
 Increase democracy, transparency and
 efficiency
 Reorganisation and simplification of the
 treaties
 Agreement and long term management of a
 Constitutional text of the Union
The working of the Constitutional
          Convention
Organized in 4 forums:
1. The Office of the President – focus on the Convention
   results
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
   text.
      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
   treaties
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”.
                 2004
     Constitutional Treaty signature



              Ratification process
                     (First deadline = 2006)

   Referendum                  vs     Parliamentary vote
                                             
CT’s symbolic character              Customary way of ratification
Domestic political pressures
                         2005
 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
    dropped
   Routine reformist aspects should largely remain




 Treaty reform process (beginning during the
          German Council Presidency)
                        2007
 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
               leaders


       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
 approval

 Poland and Czech Republic = eurosceptic presidents
 refusal
                       2009

 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
 instrument
     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
                                   citizens
  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
                                   agenda
THE CONTENTS OF LISBON TREATY
INSTITUTIONS:

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
business.
 Created a new president :

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

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

Possibility to provide a EU leadership much
 stronger.
  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
 procedure.
 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
 treaties.
 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
 state.
 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.
           Conclusion
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
    Netherlands
   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
    reform
   Decembre 2007: Lisbon Treaty is signed by national leaders
   June 2008: “No” result for Lisbon Treaty in ratification referendum in
    Ireland
   June 2009: the European Council provides some clarifications and
    concessions
   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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