In December 2001, the European Council ( 2001 ) boldly declared the demand for the European Union ( EU ) to go “more democratic, more crystalline and more efficient” In order to make this the Council established a ‘Convention’ to set about an probe into how the EU could be run more smoothly and democratically. The ‘Convention’ culminated in the production of a Constitutional Treaty, which would organize the footing of a European Super-State, a Union whose powers would shadow that of all time conceived by the founding provinces of the now defunct European Community. At an Inter-governmental conference in 2003, the member provinces of the EU gave their backup to the new constitutional pact, paving the manner for its origin, supplying that it was ratified by popular referendum in certain member-states who missed to set about such a procedure. In June 2005, the decease nail was hammered steadfastly into the new constitutional pact when referendums in France ( 54 % Against ) and the Netherlands ( 61.6 % ) voted against the pact. It was up to Germany, when they took over the EU Presidency to supply a fresh and new drift in the pursuit for a ‘constitutional’ papers for the EU, this culminated in the sign language of the Treaty of Lisbon in December 2007.
Gros-Verheyde ( 2007, Pg.6 ) states “the text of the Treaty of Lisbon brings alterations to three paperss: the Treaty set uping the European Community ( Rome 1957 ) , the Maastricht Treaty ( 1992 ) and the Treaty set uping the European Atomic Energy Community ( EURATOM Rome 1957 ) . It is just to state so that the Treaty of Lisbon would be a consolidative and simplifying text. The Treaty of Lisbon has efficaciously abolished the bing ‘Three Pillars’ of the European Community and has unified all bing pacts regulating the EU, into one papers. The Treaty of Lisbon provides that the ‘Treaty set uping the European Community’ ( Rome ) will be renamed ‘The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union’ . The Treaty of Lisbon can besides be described as being an amending pact. Where the pact differs from those pacts which came before is that it does non necessitate the convention of an inter governmental conference in order for any portion of the pact to be well changed. Article 33 of the Treaty of Lisbon ( similar in character to that of 444/445 Constitutional Treaty ) allow for a procedure of qualified bulk vote to replace the procedure of unanimity in order to do any alterations to the pact, unless the have military deductions or deductions on the competences of the European Council. The Commons European Scrutiny Committee ( 2007 ) outlined there frights over such a move saying “We are concerned that these commissariats could let significant alterations to be made without convening an IGC and so lead to even less transparence in the manner the EU is governed, and less answerability of authoritiess to their national parliaments” . This may be a well founded fright as when looking at the Treaty of Lisbon as a whole, and the alterations it makes to the EU Institutions, as we will see subsequently, their does look to be less transparence and engagement in some of the jurisprudence devising procedures.
Gros Verheyde ( 2007, Pg.7 ) believes that the Treaty of Lisbon marks a ‘reversal of principles’ from the Constitutional Treaty, he believes “the authorization interruptions up the integrity of the constitutional pact, which enumerated a long list of objectives” . This is done by taking Articles 2 and 3 of the constitutional pact which outline the EU’s values and aims. Second he argues that “ by renaming the Treaty Establishing the European Community to the ‘Treaty on the Functioning of The European Union’ , the Lisbon Treaty implicitly subordinates it” . This has the consequence that commissariats contained within will be of a superior nature of jurisprudence merely because the pact itself is off a higher standing.
When analyzing the chief differences between the Treaty of Lisbon and the now defunct constitutional pact it is prudent to foreground the EU Institutions, here there is a diverse list of differences between the two paperss.
Under Article 9 of the Lisbon Treaty the European Parliament “exercises legislative and budgetary maps jointly with the Council” . This sharing of powers between these two establishments was ne’er envisioned by the Constitutional Treaty, and allows the EU to look to be working more democratically as the Parliament for the first clip in its being can be seen as being a co-legislator with the Council, yet leting a broader scope of member provinces to hold input into the legislative procedure. However, where this new found democracy seems to be flawed is over the issue of qualified bulk vote. The figure of ballots granted to member provinces in parliament will depend upon their population, therefore weakening the manus of smaller states in prosecuting their legislative desires. However, it may besides be argued that such a agency of voting really improves democracy, as it gives a louder voice to provinces with a greater figure of citizens. All in all such theoretical statements will non be appeased until the practical execution of such voting systems between 2014-2017.
Under Article 9 of the Lisbon Treaty the European Council will go an official longstanding establishment of the European Union. More significantly and slightly polemically the place of President of the Council will no longer be rotated every six months, but a lasting president will now be elected for a two twelvemonth period, with the ability to be re-elected for one more term. Sompoil ( 2007, Pg.9 ) states “The European Council President will stand for the Union externally, at this degree and in his capacity, for affairs related to Common Foreign and Security Policy” . There is an component of fundamental law contained within, when the reform pact was in the procedure of preparation, there was a call by member-states to take any icons of super-state, the thought of a lasting president stand foring the EU on foreign policy and security issues about circumvents the function of the elective leaders of the member provinces, as a consequence the reform pact does non look to hold gone to far from the constitutional pact. The Council will besides name a High Representative, who will organize the Union’s security policies every bit good as aid develop them by supplying proposals and implementing policies in co-ordination with the committees president.
The brand up of the European Commission will besides alter under the Treaty of Lisbon as each member province will now merely have one commissioner. These commissioners are non lasting nevertheless and each member province will merely hold one commissioner in office for one term in every three footings of the committee. This means that every member province will hold a commissioner for five old ages in every 15. This has caused some contention as it means that other provinces will hold a greater say in how the EU impacts on other member-states, an issue of sovereignty some might reason. However, this is non the instance, the greater importance placed upon the Parliament means that such a struggle should non originate.
The Treaty of Lisbon that the new EU Court of Justice will encapsulate all old tribunals under the old pacts, viz. the Court of Justice, the Court of First Instance and the specialized tribunals. The tribunal will still hold one justice per member province nevertheless there is now 11 advocate generals alternatively of eight, all functioning a term of six old ages. Of relevant importance is the new position of the Charter of Fundamental Rights which will now hold the same legal value as the pact and as a consequence will be lawfully adhering upon member provinces, nevertheless the UK have been successful in holding an exclusion inserted into the pact ; in Protocol 7 explicitly states that: “The charter does non widen the ability of the Court of Justice of the European Union, or any tribunal or court of Poland or of the United Kingdom, to happen that the Torahs, ordinances or administrative commissariats, patterns or action of Poland or of the United Kingdom are inconsistent with the cardinal rights, freedoms and rules that it reaffirms”
There are several countries of contention contained within the pact. In the UK there are some concerns over Justice and Home Affairs and Foreign policy concerns. These issues can be laid to rest nevertheless due to the ‘opt-in’ agreements that have been put in topographic point to reassure member provinces that there ain powers will non be circumvented by the EU in these of import countries of province sovereignty. The increased function of national parliaments under the Treaty of Lisbon should besides set member provinces concerns at easiness, as they will hold direct contact with the European parliament and will be allowed to send on legislative proposals for the consideration of the Parliament. If any of the agreements contained within the Treaty of Lisbon do non run into with the confidences required by member provinces, so for the first clip in any European pact there is an express issue clause, under Article 34 of Lisbon any state wishing to submit from the EU may make so on a warrant that they will go on to the EU’s values i.e. democracy.
In decision, the footings of the Treaty of Lisbon are non a monolithic going from the footings of the Constitutional Treaty. They are in fact a little re-framing of the bing end of the constitutional pact in less politically inflammatory linguistic communication. What the Treaty of Lisbon has succeeded in making nevertheless is to do it clear to the member provinces that their sovereignty is in no manner challenged by the alterations to the assorted establishments in the EU an the granting of greater powers. It has even taken the rare measure of supplying expressed warrants to certain member provinces who may experience somewhat uneasy about giving up powers in certain countries. The ground why the pact of Lisbon stands a greater alteration of confirmation is that it removes all expressed mention to a European super-state and alternatively looks to accomplish this end through gradual incorporation of some of the more combative issues of the constitutional pact.
Gros-Verheyde, N. 2007. The Treaty of Lisbon: Here is where it changes Particular Edition.Europolitics OnlineNo. 3407 available athypertext transfer protocol: //www.spr-consilio.com/Europolitics_3407_special_treaty.pdf ( accessed 14/03/08 at 14:32 )
Commons Committee on European Scrutiny2007 ( 35ThursdayReport ) London, HMSO
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Treaty of Lisbon, 2007, Protocol 7 refering Justice and Home Affairs in United Kingdom Online available at hypertext transfer protocol: //europa.eu/lisbon_treaty/full_text/index_en.htm ( accessed 14/03/08 at 13:21 )
Treaty of Lisbon, 2007, Article 9 available at hypertext transfer protocol: //europa.eu/lisbon_treaty/full_text/index_en.htm ( accessed 14/03/08 at 13:21 )
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Commons Committee on European Scrutiny2007 ( 35ThursdayReport ) London, HMSO