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Así funcionará el Tratado europeo de Lisboa

13 Dec 2007, by Quiñonero, Categories: Europa, UE

Financial Times ha publicado el informe más pedagógico que conozco sobre el nuevo Tratado europeo de Lisboa.

Follow up:

Se trata de una documentación básica e imprescindible

Financial Times, 12 dic. 07

Q&A: the Lisbon Reform Treaty

By Tony Barber in Brussels

The EU’s Lisbon treaty on institutional reform is being signed in the Portuguese capital on Thursday, December 13, 2007. The treaty aims to simplify and modernise the EU’s institutions, following the bloc’s enlargement from 15 to 27 member-states since April 2004. It creates a semi-permanent president of the European Council (representing national governments), it slims down the European Commission, and it enhances the role of the European Parliament and national parliaments. It also changes the EU’s voting procedures.

Q: When will it come into force?

A: On January 1, 2009, if all 27 member-states have ratified it by then.

Q: Who will be the first European Council president?

A: Among the early names mentioned are Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg’s prime minister; Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Denmark’s prime minister; and Wolfgang Schüssel, Austria’s former chancellor. However, some countries are reluctant to appoint a politician from a neutral country (such as Austria), and others think the first president should be a leader from a big EU member-state (such as France or Germany) who has instant name recognition around the world.

● The president will be appointed for a two-and-a-half year term. It remains to be seen if the job will rival or overshadow that of European Commission president, or will evolve into a less high-profile, secretarial type of position.

Q: How does the treaty change the European Commission?

A: After 2014 the Commission will be reduced from 27 members now to two-thirds of the number of member-states (18, if Croatia has not joined by then). A rotation system will ensure every member-state has regular and equal representation, but the principle that each country has its own commissioner – which has been a fixed feature of the EU’s history – will be done away with.

● The High Representative for Foreign Affairs – essentially, a kind of EU foreign minister – will also become a Commission vice-president. This may give the high representative more of a power base, but it seems certain that the governments of big EU member-states will want to set the overall direction of European foreign policy. The EU’s new president may also exercise a lot of influence over foreign policy.

● The present high representative is Javier Solana, but it is thought likely he will retire either when the next Commission is chosen in late 2009, or soon afterwards. An early tip to replace him is Massimo D’Alema, Italy’s foreign minister.

Q: Does the European Parliament become stronger?

● There will be more areas in which the Council, representing EU national governments, and the Parliament will take decisions together: agriculture, fisheries, transport, aid for the EU’s poorer regions, and justice and interior matters. For the first time in EU history, the Parliament will become a co-equal legislator for almost all European laws.

● After a concession in October 2007 to Italy, the Parliament will have 751 members – 750 plus its president.

● The Parliament will elect the Commission president, after national governments have assessed the results of the latest European Parliament elections and presented a candidate. The next elections are due in June 2009.

Q: How do the powers of national parliaments change?

One-third of national parliaments can object to a draft legislative proposal on the grounds that it breaches the principle of “subsidiarity” – namely, that laws should be set at the appropriate local, regional, national or EU level and not always tend in the direction of centralisation.
National parliaments have eight weeks rather than six to scrutinise draft laws.

Q: How do the EU’s voting rules change?

● Qualified majority voting becomes the general rule in voting procedures in the European Council. It will be defined as a “double majority” – 55 per cent of member-states (15 out of 27, at present), representing 65 per cent of the EU population, will be needed.

● Forty new areas move from unanimity to QMV, including most notably justice and interior affairs.

● Areas that will continue to be subject to unanimous voting include taxation, social security, and the common foreign, security and defence policies.

● The new system is due to come into effect in 2014. However, under a compromise agreed with Poland, it will still be possible, until 2017, for member-states to use the old rules established by the EU’s Treaty of Nice.

● What does the treaty have to say about human rights?

● It contains a Charter of Fundamental Rights, whose text will have legal force even though it is not included in the main body of the document.

● A special protocol establishes separate rules for Poland and the UK.

● The treaty provides a new legal basis for the EU’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights.

Q: What if a member-state tires of the entire new set-up of the Lisbon treaty and wants to leave the EU?

● For the first time, member-states gain the right to secede from the EU.

● In practice, the only country thought likely to contemplate such a move is the UK.

Q: What if some countries tire of recalcitrant partners and want to press ahead with closer integration on their own?

● The treaty makes such “enhanced co-operation” easier in many areas, including that of defence, where it has been impossible in the past for neutral countries to join in.

● Under a solidarity clause, member-states will assist each other in the event of armed aggression.

Q: Is the Lisbon reform treaty merely the EU’s defunct constitutional treaty in disguise?

● The most important changes to the European Council, Commission and Parliament are essentially still in place, with only minor modifications.

● Some features of the constitutional treaty, such as an official EU flag and anthem, have been removed from the new document. But there have been no signs that the blue-and-gold flag and Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” are disappearing from everyday EU usage.

● The UK has secured more opt-outs and concessions from the new document than it had from the constitutional treaty.

● Whatever the merits of the two treaties, the experience of negotiating and ratifying them has been so exhausting and divisive that few if any governments have the stomach for launching new institutional reforms for a long time – perhaps 10 years or so.

[ .. ]

Financial Times, 13 dic. 07

Timeline: key dates in the EU’s history

By Tony Barber in Brussels

● 1951 - Treaty of Paris establishes European Steel and Coal Community
● 1957 - Treaty of Rome creates European Economic Community with six founding members: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands
● 1963 - French President Charles de Gaulle vetoes British entry into EEC
● 1965 - De Gaulle prompts ”empty chair” crisis as France pulls out of meetings in protest at plans to expand EEC’s powers
● 1973 - Britain, Denmark and Ireland join EEC
● 1979 - Start of the European Monetary System, forerunner of the euro
● 1981 - Greece joins EEC
● 1985 - Jacques Delors becomes European Commission president, starts fresh drive for European unity
● 1986 - Portugal and Spain join EEC
● 1987 - Single European Act takes effect, a landmark on the way to a single European market
● 1989 - Fall of the Berlin Wall inspires dream of a Europe whole and free
● June 1991 - Outbreak of wars of Yugoslav succession exposes weakness of European foreign and security policy
● December 1991 - Treaty of Maastricht creates European Union and paves way for the euro
● 1995 - Austria, Finland and Sweden join the EU
● 1997 - Treaty of Amsterdam introduces modest steps to closer EU integration
● January 1999 - Launch of the euro in electronic form
● March 1999 - Entire European Commission resigns in a fraud and mismanagement scandal
● 2001 - Treaty of Nice tries to prepare EU for expansion into a bloc of 30 or more countries
● January 2002 - Euro banknotes and coins enter circulation
● May 2004 - Eight former communist countries plus Cyprus and Malta join the EU, taking membership from 15 to 25
● October 2004 - EU Governments sign constitutional treaty in Rome
● May/June 2005 - EU in crisis as French and Dutch voters reject the treaty
● January 2007 - Bulgaria and Romania become EU’s 26th and 27th members
● October 2007 - EU leaders reach a deal to wrap up a reform treaty that replaces the ill-fated constitutional treaty
● December 13, 2007 – EU leaders sign Lisbon reform treaty

[ .. ]

Una temporada en el Infierno. Insignificancia del Tratado de Lisboa.


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