EU leaders sign The Lisbon Treaty (The New EU Constitution)
2007 12 14
Video from CNN here: Landmark EU treaty signed
Leaders of the European Union countries pose for a group photo outside Lisbon's 16th century Jeronimos Monastery after signing the EU's Treaty of Lisbon Thursday, Dec. 13 2007
The Lisbon Treaty signed by European Union leaders on Thursday seeks to give the enlarged bloc a more efficient decision-making process and greater clout on the international scene.
The EU now has 27 members stretching from the Arctic Circle to the edge of Africa, but its rules were written when it had just six members (Treaty of Rome, 1957) and last updated when it had 15 members.
Officials have long said that the enlarged union needs a simpler, more efficient set of rules to improve its impact on global affairs.
They initially proposed an ambitious Constitutional Treaty which gave the EU many of the symbols of statehood, but that was rejected by Dutch and French voters in referenda held in 2005.
The Lisbon Treaty drops the constitution's references to symbolic issues such as the EU flag and the EU anthem, but it nevertheless preserves most of its key elements.
Currently, the committee of the EU's 27 prime ministers, the European Council, is chaired by each member in turn in a presidency that lasts six months.
The treaty replaces that system with a President of the Council, elected by national leaders, who remains in office for two and a half years and can be re-elected once.
It also updates the EU's executive body, the Commission, which draws up EU-level laws and makes sure that they are implemented. At present, every single EU member state nominates a commissioner, but the treaty reduces that number to 18.
Portuguese Prime-Minister Jose Socrates speaks, prior to signing the EU's Treaty of Lisbon during a ceremony Thursday, Dec. 13 2007, at Lisbon's 16th century Jeronimos Monastery.(AP Photo/Lusa, Antonio Cotrim)
It also streamlines the current system under which the EU is represented on the world stage by the presidency of the Council, the Council High Representative on Foreign Affairs, the President of the Commission and the External Affairs Commissioner.
The treaty merges the posts of External Affairs Commissioner and High Representative into a single foreign affairs chief, who chairs the meetings of member states' foreign ministers and serves as vice-president of the Commission.
On internal issues, the treaty reduces the areas in which single member states can veto union-wide proposals and establishes new rules for passing legislation in matters which do not require unanimity.
Under the treaty, such legislation must win the support of at least 55 per cent of member states and of 65 per cent of the EU's population.
Finally, the text also makes the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights legally binding. The charter brings together Europe's human-rights policies in a single document covering individual rights to freedom, dignity, equality, solidarity and justice.
However, the treaty includes a protocol which allows Britain and Poland to opt out of the Charter. Britain had expressed fears that the Charter could be used to override British labour law, while Poland feared that it could be used to boost gay rights.
The treaty will only come into force when - and if - all 27 member states have ratified it.
Officials say that they want the ratification to be complete by January 1, 2009, so that the new rules can apply to the appointment of a new Commission and European Parliament elections in that year.
After the failure of the Constitutional Treaty, member states have shied away from calling a referendum on the issue. Ireland is the only country constitutionally bound to hold one.
But Eurosceptics in several states, especially Britain, are calling for a referendum.
Even if the treaty does come into force in 2009, the new voting system will only be introduced in 2014. And in a concession to Poland, member states will be able to invoke the old system until 2017.
Article from: http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/158017.html
EP president calls for fast ratification of Lisbon Treaty
EU leaders sign landmark treaty
Q&A: The Lisbon Treaty
European Leaders Sign Reform Treaty
EU leaders sign new treaty
EU treaty 'same as Constitution'
Former Soviet Dissident Warns Of EU Socialist Dictatorship
EU leaders agree on reform treaty
Germany seeks to modernize policing across EU
New EU foreign policy think tank created - European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)
Traitorous UK 'Common Purpose' Shills For NWO
EU police will access our DNA database
Latest News from our Front Page
EU on high alert as Germany accepts Ebola patients
2014 07 30
A German hospital has agreed to treat Ebola patients amid widespread fears of a possible outbreak of the deadly disease in Europe. Over 670 people have already been killed by the disease in West Africa with doctors struggling to control the epidemic.
A German hospital in Hamburg agreed to accept patients following a request from the World Health Organization (WHO), Deutsche ...
Bolivia declares Israel terrorist regime
2014 07 30
Bolivia has declared Israel a “terrorist state” and revoked a visa exemption agreement with Tel Aviv in protest at the ongoing Israeli attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip.
The move "means, in other words, we are declaring (Israel) a terrorist state," President Evo Morales said during talks with a group of educators in the city of Cochabamba ...
Pagan Traditions: Mysteries of medieval graffiti in England’s churches
2014 07 30
Medieval graffiti of straw kings, pentagrams, crosses, ships and "demon traps" have been offering a tantalising glimpse into England’s past. What do the pictures reveal about life in the Middle Ages?
A project to record the graffiti, which began in Norfolk, has now been rolled out to other areas and is gradually spreading across England.
Armed with just a torch and a ...
More Gigantic Holes Appear in Siberia’s ’End of the World’
2014 07 30
Is it the end of the world in Siberia’s ’End of the World’?
Scientists suspect not, but they’re still investigating the strange and alarming holes that are swallowing up the Siberian north.
This week two new holes have been discovered, and with similar characteristics as the first reported hole: a very deep shaft with smooth sides, debris surrounding the rim, and water ...
BLACKLISTED: The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist
2014 07 30
The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.
The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, ...
|More News » |