Tuesday, 3 November 2009

The Lisbon Treaty is ratified

It is like a dream, but the Lisbon Treaty (here: consolidated versions of the two future EU treaties), topic of endless blog posts and uncounted discussions, is finally ratified.

We all know that this is not a perfect Treaty, it's not the massive reform solving all the many problems of the European Union, but I am sick and tired of waiting and discussing a hypothetic reform instead of actually working on making the EU a better place - which is now finally possible.

I still remember when in 2003 I was reading the Constitutional Treaty for the first time, thinking that it would be ratified soon. I also remember discussions on the diplomatic level in 2006 where it was said that certain things couldn't be done until the Constitutional Treaty would enter into force. I remember a simulation of the Berlin Summit in which I represented the German EU-Council Presidency in which we managed to get a similar result to what would become the final declaration that led to the draft Lisbon Treaty in 2007. Not to talk about the two Irish referenda, the German Constitutional Court decision that will be part of German political science discussions for the years to come, and all the ifs and whens that were part of our lives over the last years.

I am glad that all this is over now, and I am looking forward seeing the changes foreseen by the Treaty entering into force. From 1 December, the European Union will be a single entity with international legal personality. It will get its own diplomatic service with Foreign Minister (called differently but I don't mind); the Council and the Parliament will be official co-legislators and the European Council will get a permanent president. And much more is to be changed and adapted with the new Treaty in force.

Today is 03 November 2009, and after almost a decade of deadlock, the Union can finally move on - and as a citizen of this, our common Union, I am really hoping that it will move on for the better!

Update - the news (good for some, bad for others) in other euroblogs: Eurocrat, Nosemonkey, Jean Quatremer, Open Europe blog, England Expects, Ironies Too, Wiktor Dabkowski, Adjucating Europe, EU Law blog, Brussels Blog, Gawin Hewitt, Eva in Europa, Cecilia Malmström, Jon Worth, A Fistful of Europe, Le Taurillon, Grahnlaw, EU Referendum, Central Europe Activ, The European Citizen, Jochen Bittner, European Journal, Jonathan Fryer


Eurosocialiste said...

Let's crack open the champagne, roll our sleeves up and get to work now!

Dick Nieuwenhuis said...

Dear Friends,
let's be realistic. There is still an awfull lot of work ahead to make this a real success.
But nevertheless, it makes me a happy men!

Slartibartfas said...

Let's be happy about this for a moment. The problems will catch up soon enough anyway.

When the convent was in place, I was still in school. Unbelievable. I took part in a great seminar with some Austrian MEPs and pupils from other schools. To be honest, I was skeptical if this reform would ever have a chance to become law. When the enlargement took place and still no reform was in sight (Nice does not really count) I gave up any hope. Now years later, its almost like a miracle that the Lisbon treaty actually made it. It was not a beautiful straight forward ratification process, but I can't see how one could have managed to reform it under the rule of law in a better procedure (with realistic chances of success).

The fight is not over, but calls that the EU is not reformable have been debunked now.

Julien Frisch said...

@ Dick & @ Slartibartfas

I agree with you hesitant optimism - and I am well aware of the work and possible problems ahead.

But at least we are looking ahead now...! :-)

Thomas said...

I totally agree with you, Julien...let's start working with the reforms being implemented soon and get back to tackling real political problems instead of focussing on institutional ones all the time. That's the best way on how to get citizens involved in the European project!