Celebrating 10 years of the Lisbon Treaty

Four Presidents will attend an official ceremony in the House of European History in Brussels

Photo: EP Ursula von der Leyen and David Sassoli.

Tomorrow, European Parliament President David Sassoli will host a ceremony in the House of European History dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty.

For the celebration he will be joined by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel, who both are taking up their duties on the new posts on 1st December, and by European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, who entered office a month ago.

After visiting the exhibition at the House of European History, the four Presidents will each make a statement. According to the preliminary programme, Presidents Sassoli and Michel will present President von der Leyen with a copy of the Treaty of Lisbon.

Ten years ago, the Treaty establishing the European Community is renamed the ‘Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union’ and the term ‘Community’ is replaced by ‘Union’ throughout the text. The Union takes the place of the Community and is its legal successor. The Lisbon Treaty does not create state-like Union symbols like a flag or an anthem. Although the new text is hence no longer a constitutional treaty by name, it preserves most of the substantial achievements.

No additional exclusive competences are transferred to the Union by the Lisbon Treaty, but it changes the way the Union exercises its existing powers and some new shared powers, by enhancing citizens’ participation and protection, creating a new institutional set-up and modifying the decision-making processes for increased efficiency and transparency. A higher level of parliamentary scrutiny and democratic accountability is attained.

The Lisbon Treaty for the first time clarifies the powers of the Union and distinguishes three types of competences - exclusive, shared and supporting competences. Union competences can be handed back to the Member States in the course of a treaty revision.

The Lisbon Treaty gives the EU full legal personality and the Union obtains the ability to sign international treaties in the areas of its attributed powers or to join an international organisation. Member States may only sign international agreements that are compatible with EU law.

The Treaty for the first time provides for a formal procedure to be followed by Member States wishing to withdraw from the European Union in accordance with their constitutional requirements, namely Article 50 TEU.



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