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The Making of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty

The Role of Member States

Series:

Finn Laursen

The European Union (EU) has gone through a number of treaty reforms since the establishment of the European Communities in the 1950s and the creation of the European Union by the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. The latest such reform is the Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force in 2009.
In this book, a number of scholars explore the process of producing the Lisbon Treaty. The focus is on the role of member states, arguably the ‘masters of the treaty.’ Intergovernmental conferences have become the main setting for treaty reforms since the Single European Act (SEA) in the mid-1980s. This makes national preferences and inter-state bargaining important when new treaties are negotiated.
The Lisbon Treaty delineates a number of institutional changes. In the end the product has to be evaluated against the standards established at the outset. Will the treaty improve the efficiency, democratic legitimacy as well as the coherence of the Union’s external action, as the member states claimed it would? While the final text of the treaty leaves the EU with some new institutional possibilities, it also has its limitations, especially in the area of foreign and security policy.

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Preface 9

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9 Preface This book is about the Lisbon Treaty, the latest treaty of the Europe- an Union (EU), forming the “constitutional” framework of the union. The focus is on the making of the treaty, in particular the role of some important member states. Most of the chapters were first presented at the 4th annual research conference of the European Union Centre of Excellence (EUCE) at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 6-8 June 2010. The selected papers were subsequently revised to produce this book. The organization of the research project was inspired by Andrew Moravcsik’s three analytical phases: national preference formation, interstate bargaining and institutional choice. The national chapters deal with preferences and the editor analyses the interstate bargaining in his introduction and concluding chapter. A more detailed analysis of the institutional innovations of the treaty will be published in a separate volume. The Lisbon Treaty is just the latest EU treaty. It concluded a long treaty reform process which started after the adoption of the Treaty of Nice in 2000. The process went through the Convention on the Future of Europe (2002-03), the ill-fated Constitutional Treaty (2004), which was abandoned after the negative referendums in France and the Nether- lands in 2005. But the Lisbon Treaty, which was signed in December 2007 and entered into force in December 2009, rescued many of the proposed reforms from the Constitutional Treaty. Since the Single European Act in 1986 there has been an on-going debate between scholars on how to analyse and...

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