The Treaty of Lisbon

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					The Treaty of Lisbon

 Overview and Outlook

           Sebastian Kurpas
        European Commission
         General Secretariat
  Unit E.1, “Institutional Questions“
       An Amending Treaty
• ToL amends the existing treaties
• ToL does not replace them
• EU thus maintains ist traditional technique
  of treaty reform (like the Treaty of
  Amsterdam or the Treaty of Nice)
           Why a new Treaty?

The Treaty of Lisbon makes the EU...
1. More democratic
2. More efficient
3. More transparent
4. More secure and
5. More united on the world stage
  I. Making the EU more democratic

• Horizontal provisions (values, democratic
  principles, etc.)
• EU democracy strengthened at 3 levels:
  – EU-level
  – National level
  – Direct participation of citizens
     1. Stressing EU values and
           democratic principles
• ToL stresses EU values (Art. 2 TEU):
  Human dignity, freedom, democracy,
  equality, rule of law, respect for human
• Title on democratic principles (Art. 9-12
2. Charter of Fundamental Rights
• Article 6 (1) TEU makes the Charter legally
  binding (“… shall have the same legal value
  as the Treaties“)
• Binding for EU institutions and national
  authorities when they implement EU policy
• “The provisions of the Charter shall not
  extend in any way the competences of the
  Union as defined in the Treaties
  (Art. 6 (1) TEU)
 3. EU accession to ECHR foreseen
• Commission adopted draft negotiation directives
  pursuant to Article 218 (3) TFEU on 17 March
• ES Presidency priority: Council decision
  authorising the opening of negotiations for the
  accession until June
• ECHR must be amended within the CoE
• Approval of EP
• Approval of MS in accordance with constitutional
   4. The European Parliament:
   At eye-level with the Council
• Stronger legislative powers: Co-decision
  procedure has become the rule (ORD)
• Stronger budgetary powers: EP has a full
  say on all categories of expenditure (not just
• EP elects the Commission President
• EP has a greater say on future treaty
  revisions: EP‟s consent necessary to avoid a
    5. National Parliaments:
  More control and involvement
• New article outlines role of national
  parliaments in the EU (Art. 12 TEU)
• Stronger control over application of
  subsidiarity principle („yellow card‟ &
  „orange card‟)
• Control over abolishing national vetoes
  („passarelle clauses‟), Art. 48 (7) TEU
• Represented in conventions on treaty reform
• Political monitoring of Europol and
  evaluation of Eurojust„s activities
      6. Citizens’ Initiative:
 An Element of Direct Democracy
• Citizens can invite Commission to propose
  legislation on any issue falling within its
  competences to implement the Treaties
• 1 million citizens from a „significant
  number of countries‟ (Commission
  proposal: 1/3) needed
• For the first time: Instrument for Direct
  Democracy at EU-level
• Impetus for common European debate
 II. Making the EU more efficient

• Difficult challenges that Member States
  cannot face alone, e.g. energy security,
  climate change, fighting terrorism
• High expectations from citizens according
  to Eurobarometer polls
• Enlarged EU needs to preserve its capacity
  to act
 1. A Single Legal Personality for
             the Union
• ToL put an end to distinction between
  European Community and European
  Union (legal succession of EC by EU)
• Greater coherence on external matters
  & easier to speak with one voice in the
• Member States retain their role and
  prerogatives in international relations
 2. A More Coherent Framework
• ToL abolished the „3-pillar‟-structure with
  its different sets of rules and procedures for
  different policy areas
• ToL reduced the number of different legal
• Specific rules continue to apply to the
  Common Foreign and Security Policy, Art.
  24 (1) TEU
 3. A Permanent President for the
        European Council
• European Council granted the status of a Union
  institution (budget + rules of procedure)
• 6-monthly rotation of EC abolished: Permanent
  president for 2.5 years (renewable once) H. van
• Rotation of formations in Council of Ministers
  remained (exception: FA Council => HRVP)
• EC President elected by Heads of State and cannot
  not hold any national office
• President chairs the EC, facilitates consensus and
  ensures continuity (Art. 15 (6) TEU)
• President represents the EU externally, without
  prejudice to the High Representative
4. ‘Double Majority’: A more efficient
     & transparent voting system
• New QMV system based on two elements
  – Number of countries (55%)
  – Share of Population (65%)
• Application as of 2014
• Interim period from 2014 to 2017: Current
  system can be applied on demand by any
• Further deliberations necessary, if 75% of
  blocking minority reached (from 2017:
     5. QMV as a General Rule
• QMV as part of the „ordinary legislative
• Extension of QMV to more than 40 new
  – Legal base formerly under unanimity: E.g. most
    parts of judicial cooperation on criminal matters
    and police cooperation
  – Newly introduced: e.g. energy, space, tourism,
    sport, civil protection
• Certain matters remain under unanimity:
  e.g. CFSP, matters relating to taxation or
  social security.
  6. A new system of delegated and
        implementing acts (1)
• Delegated Acts (Article 290 TFEU):
   – „Non-legislative acts of general application‟
   – Broadly corresponding to measures formerly falling
     under PRAC
• Commission presented a Communication (Art.
  290 TFEU = self-executing norm); agreement
  with other institutions to avoid case-by-case
• No more Comitology committees, but ex-post
  control by EP and Council
   A new system of delegated and
       implementing acts (2)
• Implementing Acts (Art. 291 TFEU):
• “Art. 291 TFEU does not foresee role for
  EP and Council, but Member States
• Commission adopted proposal for a
  regulation on 9 March => ORD
• Use of „Comitology„ committees
    III. Making the Union more
ToL increases transparency in three ways:
• A clear division of competences
• Enhancing the right of access to information
  and documents
• An explicit exit clause for countries wishing
  to leave the Union
 1. A clear division of competences
• Principle of conferral stated explicitly, Art. 5

• Establishment of competence categories &
  allocation of policies to them (Art. 2-6 TFEU):
   – Exclusive competences of the EU
   – Shared competences between EU and MS
   – Supporting, coordinating or supplementary
     competences of EU
   – MS coordinate economic and employment policy
     within arrangements provided by the EU
   – EU has competence to define & implement CFSP

• Principles of subsidiarity & proportionality
  determine use of EU competences, Art. 5 TEU
    2. Access to information and
• ToL stipulates that the Council must vote in
  public; division of Council meetings in two
  parts (legislative and non-legislative
  activity), Article 16 (8) TEU
• „Right of Access to Documents‟ extends
  current rules for EU institutions to all
  bodies, offices and agencies of the Union
    3. An exit clause for countries
      wishing to leave the Union
• Underlines the voluntary character of EU
• Provides an orderly procedure that helps to avoid
  abrupt decisions:
   – Notification of the European Council
   – Withdrawal agreement to be negotiated between the
     Union and the respective country
   – If no agreement reached, treaties will cease to apply to
     the country two years after the initial notification of the
     European Council
       IV. External relations (1):
            A ‘double hat‘
• ToL merges High Representative (Council) with
  Commissioner for External Relations
  (Commission): => Authority of HR + resources of
  the Commission
• Vice-President of the Commission + chair of
  foreign affairs council
• Supported by a European External Action Service
  (with staff from Council, Commission and
  national diplomatic services)
• European Council President also ensures external
  representation (“at his level and in that capacity”)
      IV. External relations (2):
      Flexibility and Solidarity
• „Permanent structured cooperation on
  defense matters‟: Possibility to cooperate
  more closely while respecting Member
  States that do not want to engage
• „Solidarity clause‟: Joint action “in a spirit
  of solidarity” if a Member State is the target
  of a terrorist attack or victim of a natural or
  man-made desaster
     IV. External relations (3):
         Humanitarian Aid
• Specific legal base for Humanitarian Aid:
  Will further strengthen the Union in this
• Creation of a “European Voluntary
  Humanitarian Aid Corps”: Framework for
  joint contributions from young Europeans to
  EU humanitarian aid operations
 V. Justice and Home Affairs (1):
    Abolition of the 3rd pillar
• Integration of police and judicial cooperation on
  criminal matters (e.g. introduction of qualified
  majority voting and co-decision)
• Special opt-outs for Denmark, Ireland and UK are
• „Emergency brake‟: Allows Member State to stop
  an initiative if it is considered to affect
  “fundamental aspects of the national legal
  system”; possibility to start enhanced cooperation
  with at least 9 MS
 V. Justice and Home Affairs (2):
      Stronger Institutions
• Reinforcement of Europol (Art. 88 TFEU)
  and Eurojust (Art. 85 TFEU): Better
  assistance for Member States‟ authorities
• Possible creation of a European Public
  Prosecutor (Art. 86 TFEU):
  – Fighting against fraud and protecting the
    financial interest of the Union
  – Possible extension to fighting serious crime
    with cross-border dimension
 VI. An Energy Policy for Europe
• Introduction of a legal base addressing:
   –   Functioning of the energy market
   –   Security of supply
   –   Energy efficiency & renewables
   –   Interconnection of energy networks
• Measures of primarily fiscal nature remain under
• Choice of energy sources (e.g. atomic energy)
  remains with Member States
• Principle of solidarity among Member States: In
  case of major external supply disruption
 VII. Overview: Other policies (1)
• RTD and Space:
  – Explicit treaty objective: Creation of a European
    Research Area (ERA), where researchers, knowledge
    and technology circulate freely (Art. 179 TFEU)
  – New article on a European space policy (Art. 189
• Economic Policy and Monetary Union:
  – Elected president of the Eurogroup (for 2 ½ years)
    mentioned in the treaty
  – Streamlined decision-making process, e.g. Commission
    warning can be directly addressed to MS (Art. 120 (4)
 VII. Overview: Other policies (2)
• Internal Market and Services:
   – New legal basis on regulation of EU intellectual
     property rights
   – Protocol on „Services of General Interest‟: Emphasising
     the importance of public services
• Social Policy:
   – Separate title regrouping relevant treaty provisions
   – Social values highlighted
   – Social rights in Charter of Fundamental Rights („opt-
     out‟ for UK, Poland and Czech Republic)
VII. Overview: Other policies (3)
• Sport, Youth and Culture:
  – New legal base on Sport
  – Encouragement to engage young people in the
    “democratic life” of the EU
  – Cutural matters will shift from unanimity to qualified
    majority voting
• Regional Policy:
  – Territorial cohesion as a fundamental objective of the
  – Structural funds to be decided by QMV and co-decision
    (“ordinary legislative procedure”)
 VII. Overview: Other policies (4)
• Trade Policy: Direct Foreign Investment to be
  included & role of the EP enhanced
• Agriculture: Co-decision will make the EP an
  equal legislator to the Council on many aspects of
  the Common Agricultural Policy
• Budget:
   – Multi-annual framework will get a legal base
   – Annual budget: EP gets full say on all categories of
 VII. Overview: Other policies (5)

New areas of EU complementary and support
• Tourism
• Civil protection
• Administrative cooperation
=> EU can only complement or support MS
=>Harmonisation of national laws excluded
     VIII. Implementation
 State of Play (End April 2010)
• ToL entered into force on 1 December (i.e.
  1st day of month after last ratification
• Implementation of ToL: Top priority of ES
  Council Presidency
• Commission: Impressive „track-record„
• Issues: EEAS, ECI, Comitology, Accession
  to ECHR, etc.
                 1. EEAS
• HRVP presented her draft proposal on 25
  March; political agreement on amendments
  in Council; Commission needs to give its
• COM proposal for revised Financial
  Regulation adopted on 24 March
• Staff regulation: VP Sefcovic consults staff
  representatives on basis of draft proposal
 2. Delegated & Implementing Acts

• Article 290 TFEU: Communication
  adopted on 9 December 2009
• Article 291 TFEU:
  – Proposal for Regulation adopted on 9
  – Joint declaration that old rules apply until
    new regulation is adopted
        3. Citizens„ Initiative
• Green Paper adopted on 11 November
• Proposal for Regulation adopted on 31
  4. EU Accession to the ECHR
• Commission proposal on negotiating
  directives adopted on 17 March 2010
         5. Budgetary Aspects
3 Commission proposals adopted on 3 March 2010:
• Proposal for a Regulation laying down the
  multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the
  years 2007-2013
• Proposal for a Regulation amending the Financial
  Regulation (to bring it in line with ToL
• Proposal for a residual IIA (concerning provisions
  that do not fit in either of the above-mentioned)
          A long process....
• Complex negotiations (Almost 10 years
  since the Nice IGC...)
• Producing a complex text („horizontal„
  amendment of the existing treaties)
• Followed by a complex ratification
  procedure (27 different national procedures)
 ...approaching its finalisation
• Implementation of Treaty accomplished to a
  large degree
• Treaty provides a clear framework for the
  years to come
• Making full use of Treaty for delivery on
  policies (EU 2020, Stockholm programme,
• Institutional developments within this
       Further Information

The Treaty of Lisbon - Taking Europe into the
                  21st century

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