Tuesday, 29 September 2009

European Commission: Your guide to the Lisbon Treaty

Besides heavy reports and proposals, the EU Commission regularly publishes lighter booklets for the general public, often from a citizen’s perspective.

A recent addition is Your guide to the Lisbon Treaty, available in the official EU languages in a both a text only version and an illustrated version.



(The English and the Gaelic version are on the same web page, but otherwise choose your language in the upper right hand corner.)


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Introduction

The introduction presents the general aims of the Lisbon Treaty and the publication:


“After decades of war that cost millions of lives, the foundation of the EU marked the beginning of a new era where European countries solve their problems by talking, not fighting.

Today, members of the EU enjoy a wealth of benefits: a free market with a currency that makes trade easier and more efficient, the creation of millions of jobs, improved workers’ rights, free movement of people and a cleaner environment.

The existing rules, however, were designed for a much smaller EU, and an EU that did not have to face global challenges such as climate change, a global recession, or international cross-border crime. The EU has the potential, and the commitment, to tackle these problems, but can only do so by improving the way it works.

This is the purpose of the Lisbon Treaty. It makes the EU more democratic, efficient and transparent. It gives citizens and parliaments a bigger input into what goes on at a European level, and gives Europe a clearer, stronger voice in the world, all the while protecting national interests.

The Lisbon Treaty provides for a new Citizens’ Initiative, whereby you can, with one million signatures, petition the European Commission to advance new policy proposals.

National parliaments in each Member State will be given a greater role in examining EU laws before they are passed to ensure that the EU does not overstep its mark on matters that should be dealt with at a national or local level.

The powers of the European Parliament will be increased, giving the MEPs you directly elect more of a say on a wider range of issues.

Contrary to the existing (Nice) Treaty, the Commission will continue to be formed of one Commissioner from every Member State.

This leaflet explains what the Lisbon Treaty means to you as a citizen."


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Contents


The contents of the brochure (20 pages) are the following:


INTRODUCTION


A UNION FOR THE 21ST CENTURY


KEY PROVISIONS OF THE LISBON TREATY


FIND OUT MORE

The road to Lisbon

More about the institutional changes

Some technical terms


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Informed citizens see the merits of an improved European Union, and they tend to see the needs for further reform.



Ralf Grahn