Most of the Treaty of Lisbon corresponds to the rejected draft EU constitution but the structure is more complex and the text more difficult to understand. Critics see this as deliberate deception of the citizens. Compared to the existing EU treaties, notably the Treaty of Nice, there are, among others, the following changes:
- The European Parliament is given more weight and more responsibilities. However foreign and security policy are exempt, i.e. the parliament has no say on war and peace.
- The semi-annually rotating EU presidency is to be abandoned. A future President of the Council of the EU, who serves for two and a half years, should ensure greater continuity.
- In the EU Council, instead of the previously required unanimity, majority decisions will be possible.
- The EU is to have a foreign minister („High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy”) who is to be appointed by the EU Council and is also Vice President of the European Commission (thus wearing “two hats”).
- An additional protocol is agreed upon, “Ensuring free and undistorted competition” – i.e., a neoliberal economic structure.
- The EU member states are thoroughly committed to rearmament, through their involvement in the European Defence Agency. Art. 42 par. 3 of the Treaty states: “Member States shall undertake progressively to improve their military capabilities. The Agency in the field of defense capabilities development, research, acquisition and armaments (hereinafter referred to as `the European Defence Agency’) shall identify operational requirements, shall promote measures to satisfy those requirements, shall contribute to identifying and, where appropriate,implementing any measure needed to strengthen the industrial and technological base of the defense sector, shall participate in defining a European capabilities and armaments policy, and shall assist the Council in evaluating the improvement of military capabilities.”
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