Contents of the Reform Treaty
The Reform Treaty, while retaining the most important innovations of the Constitutional Treaty, builds upon the structure of the existing treaties. For that reason it will, in two Articles, amend the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC), which will be renamed the "Treaty on the Functioning of the Union". The Reform Treaty contains a number of amendments and additional clauses to the original Constitutional Treaty set out in the IGC Mandate.
- The Treaty of Lisbon PDF | 859 KB
- European Council: Mandate for the Intergovernmental Conference, 26 June 2007 PDF | 229 KB
These involve, for example, the clarification of the division of competences between the EU and the Member States, the date for the introduction of double-majority voting, the Charter on Fundamental Rights, the subsidiarity control mechanism, the simplified option of enhanced cooperation and issues of climate protection and energy solidarity.
The Reform Treaty will enable the EU to face the new challenges and future questions.
- The EU's ability to act will be strengthened by far-reaching institutional reforms. A permanent President of the European Council will increase the continuity of Union action. The scope of qualified majority voting (QMV) will be extended. For Council decisions, as a matter of principle, the double-majority voting system, which takes into account both the equal status of Member States and that of the citizens, will apply as of 1 November 2014, although Member States may request that QMV decisions be taken in accordance with the existing voting system until 31 March 2017. The rotating Presidency of the Ministerial Councils will in principle be maintained in the form of an 18-month team Presidency comprising three Member States.
- The EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) will be extended. The new position of "High Representative of the Union for Foreign and Security Policy" will ensure that foreign-policy action is more coherent. The High Representative will chair the External Relations Council and at the same time, as Vice-President of the Commission, will be responsible for external relations. The holder of this office will be supported by the European External Action Service made up of Commission and Council Secretariat staff and seconded diplomats from the Member States. CFSP decisions will continue to be mainly taken unanimously.
- Progress in the area of specific policies in particular concerns efforts to combat terrorism and crime, energy policy and social affairs. The Treaty will also contain new provisions on climate protection and energy solidarity. In the area of justice and home affairs the Constitutional Treaty's noteworthy integration advances are mostly retained, while Member States wishing to move forward within the scope of "enhanced cooperation" will be able to do so more easily.
- The Reform Treaty will also strengthen democracy and protection of fundamental rights by extending the role of the European Parliament, directly involving national parliaments in the European legislation process, the European civil initiative and the Charter on Fundamental Rights, which will be given legally-binding value by a cross-reference in the Article on fundamental rights (there will be exceptional arrangements for the UK). The European Parliament will become a co-legislator on an equal footing with the Council and have an equal role in administering the budget. The Commission President will in future be elected by the European Parliament and thus have democratic legitimation.
- Last but not least, the Reform Treaty will make the EU more transparent and easier to understand by giving the Union a single legal personality, by clarifying the division of powers between the Union and the Member States – something Germany has long called for – and by simplifying procedures. The Council will in future hold public sessions when consulting or voting on draft legislation. The subsidiarity principle will be politically monitored through the direct positions of national parliaments during the European legislation procedure and by means of extended complaints options.
Last updated 04.12.2009