Sunday, 20 July 2008

EU reform without the Lisbon Treaty? Justice and Home Affairs

What if the Treaty of Nice remains the foundation of the European Union in the foreseeable future? Can reforms of the Lisbon Treaty be salvaged on the basis of the existing treaties?

Professor Steve Peers has written a new Statewatch Analysis on one of the important fields of the amending treaty, the area of freedom, security and justice as it is known in EU parlance, but with the British more accustomed to call it justice and home affairs (JHA).

‘Changing the institutional framework for EU Justice and Home Affairs law without the Lisbon Treaty’ (July 2008; 9 pages) looks at the possibilities to amend the existing treaty rules on JHA decision-making rules and the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice, without a fully-fledged amendment to the treaties:

Peers concludes that the member states – acting unanimously – could achieve similar, but not identical results as under the Treaty of Lisbon through the existing ‘passerelle’ or enabling clauses.


Peers has made a valuable contribution to the understanding of the Treaty of Lisbon through a number of Statewatch Analyses covering both treaties, available at the Statewatch Observatory on the EU Constitution-Reform-Lisbon Treaty.

Readers interested in justice and home affairs law are advised to look at ‘Analysis no 1.3: JHA provisions’ concerning the general framework.

If relevant to the reader, ‘Analysis no 4: British and Irish opt-outs from EU Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) law’ sorts out the complications.

Peers has described the general possibilities to ratify the Lisbon Treaty after the Irish rejection, or at least to implement the reforms in practice, in ‘Can the Treaty of Lisbon be ratified or implemented? A legal analysis’ (19 June 2008).


Individual JHA Articles of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) have also been compared with the current treaty provisions, the draft Constitution and the Constitution in posts on this blog, with references to additional sources.

Ralf Grahn