cart1

cart1

cart1

cart1

Lisbon Treaty

After French and Dutch voters rejected the proposed Constitution for Europe in referenda in 2005, the EU entered into a “period of reflection” to try to work out what to do next. It was clear that the grandiose-sounding constitution was not likely to win approval from voters any time soon. On the other hand, many EU governments insisted that an enlarged EU still needed the changes that the constitution would have brought about, especially to its decision-making processes. So the idea emerged of a “reform treaty” that would drop words like flag, anthem and well, constitution, but would still enable the EU to reform its creaking institutions. The treaty was signed in Lisbon in December 2007 and entered into force on 1 December 2009. Amongst other things, the treaty extended Qualified Majority Voting in the Council of Ministers, allowed in principle for a reduction in the number of commissioners (but with a get-out clause), gave the EU legal personality, beefed up the position of the EU high representative for foreign policy and scrapped the rotating presidency of the European Council in favour of a system whereby one senior political figure chairs all summit meetings for two-and-a-half years.