The Brief: 10 years of The Lisbon Treaty

Signature ceremony for the Lisbon Treaty in Poland, 2009
Signature ceremony for the Lisbon Treaty in Poland, 2009 Copyright © European Communities 2009Bartosz Krupa
By Jack ParrockGrace Murray
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A look at how The Lisbon Treaty has positively and negatively affected the European Union 10 years after its adoption.


On 1 December 2009, the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force with the purpose of making Europe more democratic and effective.

The Treaty works to not only reduce the possibilities of blockade in the Council through qualified majority voting, but also give more powers to the European Parliament.

During the last ten years, the Treaty has shown its capabilities, but also its limits.

"We have had in the Council, supported by the parliament, the capacity to manage crisis, and we had a lot of them: Brexit, the financial crisis, etc. But what we have not have is a geopolitical strategic leadership. And this has to come from the Commission and it has not been there,” said Andrew Duff, the president of The Spinelli Group.

Many think it is time to organize a conference about the future of Europe, that would lead to the reinforcement of integration.

“We need a real debate because since the Treaty of Lisbon we have had a great enlargement of the European Union which from a political and geo-strategic point of view was a very good decision of the European Union, and there are several arguments for that, but we also need a real integration,” MEP and chair of Renew Europe Dacian Ciolos said.

However, others think it has already gone too far in this direction.

"The whole thing is designed to take more competences of member states, whether be immigration policy, taxation issues, climate change, where we see that member states are deeply uncomfortable,” Brexit party MEP Robert Rowland said.

Nevertheless, the Lisbon treaty included the famous Article 50 that allowed Britain to leave the European Union.

And other news in brief...

Ethiopia. The new EU Commission has just gone to work in Brussels - but Ursula von der Leyen is already getting ready for her first official trip abroad.

On Friday, the Commission President will travel to Addis Ababa.

In the capital of Ethiopia she will have talks with that country's Prime Minister and the chairman of the African Union Commission.

Brussels. The EU Council has put forward a proposed reform of rail passenger rights.

The updated rules would improve the rights of passengers, in particular of those with disabilities or reduced mobility.

In addition, the new rules stipulate that rail companies will not need to pay compensation for delays or cancellations in circumstances they could not have avoided, such as extreme weather, natural disasters or persons on the track.

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