The main objective of this treaty is to give legal personality to the EuropeanUnion to sign international agreements and improve their performance.
Other objectives are the follow: A politician will be chosen to be president of the European Council for two and a half years,replacing the current system where presidency is rotated between member states every six months. Another post to be created will be the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, combiningthe current roles of EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and external affairs commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner. The Lisbon Treaty makes the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights a legally-bindingdocument. The charter lists the human rights recognized by the European Union. Under the Lisbon Treaty, the commission is obliged to consider any proposal signed by at least one million citizens from anumber of member states.
All proposals for EU legislation will have to be sent to national parliaments, who will then have eight weeks to offer a ‘reasoned opinion’ on whether they believe theproposal respects the principle of subsidiarity (this is the principle by which decisions should as far as possible be made at local or national level). If enough national parliaments object to aproposal, the commission can decide to maintain, amend or withdraw it.
The European Commission is the EU’s executive arm; it puts forward legislation and ensures that EU policies are correctly implemented.Since 2004, it has been made up of 27 commissioners, one from each member state. Under the new treaty, the commission will be reduced to 18 members from 2014, with membership rotating every fiveyears. This means that only two-thirds of member states will have their own commissioner at any one time, and each country will lose its commissioner for five years at a time.
Currently, the European...