10th anniversary of the Lisbon Treaty

version created by CPD Policy Blog

The Lisbon Treaty marks a turning point of the European Union.
The plan of a constitution for the European Union was rejected.
The citizens of France and the Netherlands voted against it.
And so, the Lisbon treaty came into force as a compromise.
The aim of the new treaty was to reform the European Union into a legal entity.
The hope was to make the European Union more efficient.
And to make it possible to work together with more member states.

Different visions

The future of the European Union was always unclear.
It was founded for economic cooperation.
Some member states also wanted stronger cooperation in other areas.
The shape of the European Union today results from countless compromises.
Especially, the larger countries tried to enforce their ideas about the European Union.
Critics say that the member states have been acting in the best interest of their nation-state.
And do not consider the interests of the entire European Union.

Changes after the Lisbon treaty

The biggest change was the new legal status of the European Union.
Another aim was to improve the democratic structure.
Therefore, the Parliament of the European Union got more competencies.
The European Citizens’ Initiative allowed citizens to take part in political decision-making process.
This is an instrument all inhabitants of the European Union can use.
Also, the foreign policy of the European Union came more into focus.
For example, with a newly created position, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs.
And even more changes have been made with the Lisbon treaty.
Unfortunately, the reforms have not led to the success everyone was hoping for.
Like more unification and solidarity.

The problems of the European Union

During the last decade the European Union experienced many problems.
The financial crisis and the euro crisis.
Also, the different views about major policies have divided the European Union.
For example, in the topics about asylum, migration, security and defence or climate change.
The European Union is based on solidarity.
But these crises have shown a different reality.
The process of appointing the President of the Commission was a new scandal.
The leaders of the member states are represented in the European Council.
The European Council gave the position of the Commission President to Ursula von der Leyen.
She was an external person, who did not run in the election campaign.
Voters felt cheated. Because they thought their vote decides the position.

The failure of the Lisbon Treaty

The political process has not improved. It is still complicated and slow.
A High Representative for Foreign Affairs has been established.
But it was not possible to create a common foreign policy.
The member states are divided in many policies.
The European Union has worldwide no influence on important topics.
Also because a common and global strategy is missing.
The citizens of the European Union lost trust.
Some tend to look for new answers in nationalism.
Which is another threat for the European Union
The people need more democratic transparency.
But the most important thing they need are answers to the global challenges.
Like migration, climate change, poverty, digitalisation, global competition and external instability.
The member states need to work together to find common solutions.
And to win back people’s trust.