Sunday 22 November 2009

EU Lisbon Treaty implementation: Preparatory work

Moving to the Lisbon Treaty entails a number of implementing decisions, and for a long time this blog has called for transparent preparation and open discussion about the political and legal aspects of putting the reform treaty into practice. The legality of the “caretaker” Commission has been questioned, but I have seen no clarification in this regard.

After the Slovenian EU Council presidency, there was an extended period of silence from the Council (and the Commission) regarding preparatory work, with the exception of a few “ad hoc” decisions on urgent matters. Earlier today, I found practically nothing on the web pages of the Swedish Council presidency indicating efforts to clarify the issues.

Therefore, we have to surf to the Council’s web pages to look for suitable documents.

October European Council conclusions

The presidency conclusions of the European Council 29 to 30 October 2009 (document 15265/09) had this to say about the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty (point 3, page 2):

“The European Council takes note of the preparatory work in view of the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty (doc. 14928/09). It endorses the Presidency's report on guidelines for the European External Action Service (doc. 14930/09) and invites the future High Representative to present a proposal for the organisation and functioning of the EEAS as soon as possible after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty with a view to its adoption by the Council at the latest by the end of April 2010. In this context, it also recognises the need, as underlined in the European Security Strategy, for the European Union to become more capable, more coherent and more strategic as a global actor, including in its relations with strategic partners, in its neighbourhood and in conflict-affected areas.”

At this stage, the one sentence by European Council only takes note of the general preparatory work.


December European Council

Institutional issues pertaining to the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty are on the preliminary agenda of the European Council 10 and 11 December 2009 (document 15525/09), but with no added substantive information.

The conclusions of the general affairs and external relations council formation (GAERC), dealing with general affairs, 16 November 2009 (document 15913/09) referred to the upcoming Council meetings on 7 and 8 December 2009 preparing for the European Council on 10 to 11 December 2009, but added nothing of substance.


Hopefully, a more complete picture emerges during the coming days in addition to the 23 October 2009 progress report we mentioned above.

Ralf Grahn

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