Monday, 19 October 2009

10 Things you should know about the Lisbon Treaty!

Citizens' initiative: If 1 million Europeans present a petition to the European Commission then it would have to look at ways of introducing the proposals. Alternatively it could force the Union's executive to look at ways of repealing legislation.

Lawmaking: The European Parliament would become an equal in terms of lawmaking with the Council of Ministers, where member state national governments are represented.

Policy: Members of the European Parliament would be on an equal legislative footing with the Council regarding EU agriculture and fisheries policy, trade policy, legal immigration and EU structural funds, to name just a few.

National Parliaments gain an increased role in EU decision making with the treaty giving them eight weeks in which to argue their case if they feel a draft law oversteps European Union authority.

An EU President: European leaders will have to elect a new EU President to chair their 4 summits a year and set out the agenda ahead. This would replace the six monthly rotations and the holder is likely to be the public face of the Union.

High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy: The second new job created under Lisbon. The powerful EU "foreign minister" will chair meetings of Foreign Affairs Ministers, oversee the multi-billion EU aid budget and run the proposed European External Action Service - a European diplomatic corps.

Double majority in Council votes: The treaty changes the voting arrangements in the Council of Ministers. New arrangements mean that instead of voting by unanimity measures can now be carried if they have 55% of the votes in the Council from counties representing 65% of the EU's population.

Commission President elected by MEPs: Any new President of the European Commission would be elected by the European Parliament.

Charter of Fundamental Rights: The Charter becomes legally binding meaning all laws must adhere to it. The UK and Poland have certain opt outs on this point.

Withdrawal: For the first time countries have the right to withdraw from the European Union.

Source : eGov Monitor


  1. Withdrawal rings my bell. I have a fantastic idea. Why not create a free trade bloc of EU Nations. We could call it The Common Market. No MEPs or commissioners or freeloaders or presidents. Just trade reps from each country. Now, is that a good idea? It's what we all voted for in the 70s!

  2. I think we would probably find other EU countries joining us if we did that. I don't know one Spaniard who is happy with this EU dictatorship. The people don't want it, only the politicians do!

  3. Does the last bullet point refer to Article 7a, which looks like the escape hatch?

  4. I'm not sure where its stated Mark but I have seen reference to it in a few places such as here