The man charged with amending the Lisbon Treaty is EU Council President Herman van Rompuy.
He must now prepare a study of the consequences of a treaty change and deliver his report at a summit in December.
The changes to the treaty must be agreed on by mid-2013:
“We all agreed on the principle that a permanent crisis mechanism is needed. And in order to have this permanent mechanism, we have to proceed with a limited amendment of the Treaty,” said the Belgian.
Any changes to the document must be approved unanimously and ratified by all member states by a vote in parliament or a referendum.
As austerity measures kick in across Europe some MEP’s are left wondering where the European axe will fall.
Martin Schultz is the leader of the Socialists and Democrats:
“We keep the agriculture budget, but we now have a diplomatic service with still the same budget. So where are the cuts going to fall research, development, education, infrastructure?”
The EU wants to place financial protection on a sound legal footing with a permanent structure in place for coping with further fiscal problems with a clear plan in place to back the euro in difficult times.