A lot has been said about EU institutional reform, but what does the Lisbon Treaty change for European Union citizens? How can they expect it to affect them? Euronews asked passers-by in Brussels.They said: “We’ll have a president, and, I think, a unified European foreign affairs policy, won’t we? That’s about all I know.” “Nothing changes, as far as I’m concerned. I guess it’s a contract for the future, to keep Europe strong.” “If it’s going to help, sort of improve the economical situation in Europe, I think it will be beneficial, because we will, compared to earlier stages of the European Union, we will get a little bit more organised.” The treaty adds to the rights of ordinary Europeans. One of the notable novelties is the possibility for them to directly initiate legislation. A million signatures on a petition would compel the European Commission to formally propose their law request for adoption across the Union. Analyst Janis Emmanouilidis talked about the confidence-building side of the text’s ratification: “We need this new treaty in order to send a signal of trust to citizens. Because we worked on the constitutional treaty, on the Lisbon treaty for years, almost a decade, and if the EU wouldn’t have gotten this new treaty this would had be a strong sign of defeat.” A common rule book for policy-setting was agreed in the end, by 27 countries (in spite of some reservations), designed to make their functioning more efficient. What will it change? Using it will tell.
Lisbon Treaty perceptions by ordinary Europeans