Sunday, 29 June 2008

Lisbon Treaty implementation

According to a memorandum the Finnish government’s EU Committee dealt with 22 February 2008, ’Lissabonin sopimuksen täytäntöönpanon valmistelu’ (Preparatory work on the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty), the Slovenian Council presidency had presented a memorandum on the work programme concerning Lisbon Treaty implementation at the Coreper (permanent representatives) meeting 17 January 2008.

Later the Finnish government’s EU Committee has dealt with the implementation of institutional questions pertaining to the Lisbon Treaty 9 May 2008, ‘Suomen kantoja Lissabonin sopimuksen täytäntöönpanoon liittyvistä keskeisistä toimielinkysymyksistä’ (Finnish positions on main institutional questions relating to the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty).

These memoranda, 18 pages in all, have been in the public domain, both times with accompanying press releases in three languages for the general public.

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This can be contrasted with my e-mail to the Slovenian presidency requesting the already leaked first presidency memorandum listing the matters to discuss. I received neither answer nor paper.

It would have been convenient to work with the English version, instead of comparing the Finnish memoranda it with the latest presidency update in English.

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The latest Council update (and perhaps the only one in English in the public domain) I know of is the following:

The Slovenian presidency of the EU Council presented the ’Progress report from the Presidency to the European Council – Preparatory work in view of the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty’, dated 13 June 2008, to the European Council (document 10650/08):

http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/08/st10/st10650.en08.pdf

Whereas the original presidency paper listed 33 discussion points, the 12 plus 2 pages on the state of play summarise 14 substantive points.

I am just going to signal the questions mentioned to interested readers:

1 Citizens’ initiative
2 Data protection
3 Advocates-General
4 Consultative panel for nomination of judges
5 Delegated and implementing acts
6 Transition to co-decision
7 Committee structure in the area of justice and home affairs
8 Budget for 2009
9 Budget procedure
10 Programming (Council and presidencies)
11 Rules of procedure of European Council and Council
12 European External Action Service
13 Chairmanship of preparatory bodies in the area of external relations
14 Issues relating to the General Affairs Council

Roughly, the questions could be sorted into two groups. There are questions, where transitional arrangements are needed, and there are questions in need of more exact implementing measures.

Students and researchers interested in the questions listed above may find a few titbits, but generally the comments can be described as oblique, in true Council fashion.

From the outset the Slovenian presidency was intent on doing a bit of technical groundwork, with the political decisions to be taken during the French Council presidency starting 1 July 2008. Now it is unclear if and when the Lisbon Treaty enters into force and for how long the Nice Treaty remains in force. These factors complicate life for the European Union and especially France at the head of the Council.


Ralf Grahn