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Treaty basis

18.05.2015 - Article

Since the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, two treaties have formed the backbone of the European Union.


  1. The Treaty on European Union (TEU) sets forth general provisions on the values, goals and bodies of the Union, on increased cooperation and external action, including the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).
  2. The Treaty on the Functioning of the Union (TFEU) regulates supranational cooperation among the member states in individual policy areas. In the TFEU, the cooperation among the member states within the framework of the area of freedom, security and justice (formerly police and judicial cooperation) and the Union’s external action are regulated.
Signing of the EU-Treaty 2007
Signing of the EU-Treaty 2007© picture-alliance/dpa

The Treaty of Lisbon, which entered into force on 1 December 2009, brought together the former European Community (EC) and the European Union (EU) to form a single European Union with its own legal personality. Just like the Treaty of Amsterdam and the Treaty of Nice, the Treaty of Lisbon amended the existing treaties – the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC). The commonly used term “Treaty of Lisbon” does not refer to the treaty as such but to the new versions of the treaties amended by it.

In addition to this, the European Atomic Energy Community continues to be based on the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community.

Treaty of Lisbon - full text PDF / 1 MB

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