Saturday, 27 September 2008

EU: Economic crisis management IV

Article 100 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC), as amended by the Treaty of Nice, underwent no substantial change during the European Convention and the IGC 2004.

The following intergovernmental conference (IGC 2007), leading to the EU Treaty of Lisbon, took a fresh look at the provision. Europe’s increasing dependence on oligopolistic oil and gas producers and the need to address energy security together led to two additions.

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The present Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC) was to become the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), and generally the innovations as agreed in the 2004 IGC were to be inserted into the Treaty by way of specific modifications ‘in the usual manner’ (points 17 and 18, pages 6 and 7). But Article III-180 of the Constitutional Treaty contained no ‘innovations’.

The mandate of the intergovernmental conference (IGC 2007 Mandate, Council document 11218/07, 26 June 2007) is one of the rare instances, where the IGC 2007 agreed to innovate on its own. The vulnerability of the European Union concerning oil and gas imports (as well as the problems of climate change) were taken up ahead of the formal conference.

The IGC 2007 Mandate mentioned Article 100 TEC in point ‘m’ on page 8:

“m) In Article 100 (measures in case of severe difficulties in the supply of certain products), a reference to the spirit of solidarity between Member States and to the particular case of energy as regards difficulties in the supply of certain product will be inserted (see point 3) of Annex 2).”

In Annex 2 (page 16) we find the following text:

3) In Article 100, replacement of paragraph 1 with the following:

"1. Without prejudice to any other procedures provided for in the Treaties, the Council, on a proposal from the Commission, may decide, in a spirit of solidarity between Member States, upon the measures appropriate to the economic situation, in particular if severe difficulties arise in the supply of certain products, notably in the area of energy."

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In Article 2, point 87 of the original Treaty of Lisbon (ToL) the IGC 2007 dutifully amended Article 100 TEC (OJ 17.12.2007 C 306/71):

DIFFICULTIES IN THE SUPPLY OF CERTAIN PRODUCTS (ENERGY)

87) In Article 100, paragraph 1 shall be replaced by the following:

‘1. Without prejudice to any other procedures provided for in the Treaties, the Council, on
a proposal from the Commission, may decide, in a spirit of solidarity between Member States,
upon the measures appropriate to the economic situation, in particular if severe difficulties
arise in the supply of certain products, notably in the area of energy.’.

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We notice the two essential additions: solidarity and energy, more precisely ‘in a spirit of solidarity between Member States’ and ‘notably in the area of energy’.

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The TFEU table of equivalences confirms that the new Article 100 TFEU (ToL) in the original Treaty of Lisbon was later renumbered Article 122 TFEU in the consolidated version, under the title ‘Economic and monetary policy’ renumbered Title VIII (OJ 17.12.2007 C 306/211─212).

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Article 122 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) is found in the consolidated versions of the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, published in the Official Journal of the European Union, OJ 9.5.2008 C 115/98:

Part Three Union policies and internal actions

Title VIII Economic and monetary policy

Chapter 1 Economic policy

Article 122 TFEU (Lisbon Treaty)
(ex Article 100 TEC)

1. Without prejudice to any other procedures provided for in the Treaties, the Council, on a proposal from the Commission, may decide, in a spirit of solidarity between Member States, upon the measures appropriate to the economic situation, in particular if severe difficulties arise in the supply of certain products, notably in the area of energy.

2. Where a Member State is in difficulties or is seriously threatened with severe difficulties caused by natural disasters or exceptional occurrences beyond its control, the Council, on a proposal from the Commission, may grant, under certain conditions, Union financial assistance to the Member State concerned. The President of the Council shall inform the European Parliament of the decision taken.

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The following instalment is going to take a look at some comments concerning Article 122 TFEU.


Ralf Grahn