CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF LISBON TREATY by Author’s Name Name of the Class Name of the Professor Name of the School City, State 6 January, 2013 A Review of the Lisbon Treaty In the past, the European Union had made several agreements and treaties, which brought about improvement when they were all consolidated into a single one document…
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The Lisbon Treaty came out as the amendment of the existing EU treaties to address concerns of the group of countries and people, who had earlier rejected the constitution treaty, for the option of the retaining their national sovereignty. It was signed on 13 December 2007, by the EU leaders in Lisbon after thorough work out at intergovernmental conference, previously held in July the same year (Archick and Mix, 2010, p. 3). Lisbon treaty worked towards clarifying the responsibilities and the way forward for the EU, and clearly informing the society of its main objective as an institution. Most of the proposed plans intended to be approved in the constitution treaty were reflected in the Lisbon treaty. According to Archick and Mix, “analysts assessed that over 90% of the substance of the constitutional treaty had been preserved in the Lisbon Treaty” (2010, p. 3). In the treaty, issues of EU legal personality, which extend to emphasize the concept of individuals from EU member states to be EU citizen, are addressed as stated in article 8 of provisions on democratic principles in Lisbon treaty. It also paved way for changes in voting system to embrace Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) in effective decision making. Two extra posts exist created in the treaty for the permanent president of the European council and foreign policy post. The structural change in the EU commission altered the decision process of the EU council, giving new power to the European parliament, extending ECJ powers into home affairs and in return, affecting areas in judicial, human rights, and foreign policies (civitas.org.uk, 2011). The Lisbon treaty could have been effective much earlier, but some EU member states delayed the ratification of the treaty till 2009, when all the member states gave their approval. Democratic Deficit The European Union institutional structure has been accused of lacking proper procedure in decision making, which affects all member states once an issue is approved or rejected. Some countries and regions have no influence in the decisions made, which only end up being under the control of powerful states. The Lisbon treaty has been termed as one strategy in an attempt to cure democratic deficit in the European Union. However, even if the treaty has been ratified, some countries have done so in conditions that for some areas of application, they have an option to rely on their individual consent as a nation. According to Klenanc, democratic deficit occurs when the competence shifts from a national level to a supranational level, preventing smooth integration of the EU (2011, p. 14). The council of European Union and European commission, European parliament, European Central Bank, and European court of justice has been exercising specific powers, enough to block one group from being considered in reaching at a crucial decision. As a result, the institutions can be termed to lack accountability, and for some, the legitimacy as individual member states. European Parliament before the Lisbon Treaty The European parliament has always been on evolution, seeking to strengthen its powers in several legislative areas. As many perceived it, it only began as a deliberative organ with few national members as delegates, but later recognized as the only European organ with
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