Argument: Lisbon better reinforces EU sustainable development

Issue Report: EU constitution reform treaty (Lisbon Treaty)


“Treaty of Lisbon. Questions and Answers”. – Yes, entirely. The Treaty of Lisbon states that one of the Union’s objectives is to work for the sustainable development of Europe based, in particular, on a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment. Although the idea of sustainable development was included in the existing treaties, the Treaty of Lisbon will reinforce and better define this objective. Sustainable development is also affirmed as one of the fundamental objectives of the Union in its relations with the wider world.

The environment is one of the spheres of competence shared between the Union and the Member States. When the Union intervenes in this area, it must contribute to the pursuit of clear objectives: preserving, protecting and improving the quality of the environment; protecting human health; promoting prudent and rational utilisation of natural resources; promoting measures at international level to deal with regional or worldwide environmental problems.

Climate change is among the biggest environmental, social and economic challenges currently facing mankind. With the Treaty of Lisbon, combating climate change on an international level becomes a specific objective of EU environmental policy. The Treaty of Lisbon adds the support of international action for fighting climate change to the list of objectives defining environmental policy at EU level. In so doing, the Treaty clearly recognises that the EU has a leading role to play on the world stage in this area.