Argument: Lisbon Treaty reforms the EU; it does not give it broad new powers

Issue Report: EU constitution reform treaty (Lisbon Treaty)


Andrew Duff. “Why Ireland must say ‘Yes’ to Lisbon”. Financial Times. 12 May 2008 – “[The Lisbon Treaty] seeks merely to build upon the Union’s existing powers. At no stage in the protracted constitutional negotiations that culminated at Lisbon was it seriously proposed to confer major new competences on the EU. Instead, the new treaty serves to clarify and rationalise the Union’s current scope and objectives, notably in the fields of security and defence policy and justice and home affairs. What matters is to strengthen the capacity of the Union to act with efficacy in a more challenging world. This means concentrating on improving legal and political procedures, streamlining instruments and boosting the democratic legitimacy of the institutions. Even the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which in any case builds on the existing corpus of European rights law, is mandatory only within the context of the explicit competences of the EU and the powers of its institutions.”