ENG: The Treaty of Lisbon (also known as the Reform Treaty) is an international agreement signed in Lisbon on 13 December 2007 that would change the workings of the European Union (EU). The treaty is not yet ratified by all EU member states. The treaty would amend the Treaty on European Union (TEU, Maastricht) and the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC, Rome). In the process, TEC is renamed to Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
Prominent changes include more qualified majority voting in the EU Council, increased involvement of the European Parliament in the legislative process through extended codecision with the EU Council, eliminating the pillar system, preventing the provision in the Treaty of Nice reducing the number of commissioners, and the creation of a President of the European Union and a High Representative for Foreign Affairs to present a united position on EU policies. If ratified, the Treaty of Lisbon would also make the Union's human rights charter, the Charter of Fundamental Rights, legally binding.
The stated aim of the treaty is "to complete the process started by the Treaty of Amsterdam and by the Treaty of Nice with a view to enhancing the efficiency and democratic legitimacy of the Union and to improving the coherence of its action." Opponents, such the British think-tank Open Europe and former Danish MEP Jens-Peter Bonde, argue that it will centralise the EU, and weaken democracy by moving power away from national electorates.
Negotiations to modify EU institutions began in 2001, resulting first in the European Constitution, which failed due to rejection by French and Dutch voters. The Constitution's replacement, the Lisbon Treaty, was originally intended to have been ratified by all member states by the end of 2008, so it could come into force before the 2009 European elections.
However, the rejection of the Treaty on 12 June 2008 by Irish voters means that the treaty cannot currently come into force. As of February 2009, 23 of the total 27 member states have ratified the Treaty.
Ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon
English: The EU member states that have ratified, or not ratified the Lisbon Treaty.
Green: Ratified and deposited documents in Rome
Yellow: Ratified but no deposition of documents yet
Light Blue: Approved by Parliament
Teal Blue: Not ratified
12th May 2009