The 27 European leaders reached a deal on the new Reform Treaty during a two-day summit at Lisbon on October 18th and 19th 2007, ending more than two years of political crisis after the French and Dutch referenda. This agreement comes after a long and complex process of elaboration and negotiations, which is not safe from any situation reversal. During a European Union (EU) summit in last June 21st to 23rd, a new Treaty project was drafted to accommodate demands made by nations. During this meeting, the 27 EU leaders agreed to the broad guidelines for the new document, aimed at streamlining decision-making in the enlarging bloc. The document performed is difficult to read and runs to more than 250 pages with appended declarations and protocols. It contains many positive elements of the failed European Constitution, which was rejected by French and Dutch voters in referenda two years ago.
[...] To conclude, the consequences of the Reform Treaty can be important. The innovations taken up by this text were meant to make enhanced cooperation more useful and more attractive. It can increase the autonomy and the power of decision of potential grouping of Member states but it may raise unexpected new legal questions. Therefore, this text may permit to enhance cooperation between Member states but many issues can inhibit its implementation. The latest and next steps in this process are now the Treaty's official signature by the 27 heads of the member states on December 13th 2007, during a two-day summit which will take place at Lisbon and Brussels, according to the EU rules that require all year-end EU summit meeting to take place in the Belgian EU home base. [...]
[...] on a final text of the new EU Treaty on October 18th. Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates presented the so-called “Lisbon Treaty” to the journalists. He declared: “With this accord, Europe emerged from its institutional crisis”. This new Treaty is supposed to fill the void left by the failed Constitution, which plunged the EU into one of its deepest political crisis yet. Like the Constitution, the Treaty includes plans for deeper European foreign policy cooperation and a more permanent President. [...]
[...] It is likely that all the member states will ratify the Treaty in their national parliaments rather than by holding referenda. UK, Netherlands and Denmark are the more likely to face heated debates on whether to put the new EU Treaty on public vote. Only Ireland is constitutionally bound to hold a potentially perilous referendum. Indeed, EU experts do not envisage any ratification problem in Germany, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovenia, Estonia, Cyprus or Malta, as all should ratify it with absolute or simple majority in their national parliament. [...]
[...] They predict that the new French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, will be able to prevent a public consultation and that the Treaty will be ratify. However, the UK, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Portugal and Denmark are under high pressure to call referenda. If a referendum occurs in the UK, the experts predict a “resounding While the text contains many of the innovations included in the defunct Constitution, it also gives numerous concessions to more sceptic countries. The incontestable winner of this operation remains the UK. [...]
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