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European Union Politics

European Union Politics (7th edn)

Michelle Cini and Nieves Pérez-Solórzano Borragán
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date: 22 April 2024

p. 293. Carrying the EU Forward: The Era of Lisbonlocked

p. 293. Carrying the EU Forward: The Era of Lisbonlocked

  • Clive Church
  •  and David Phinnemore


This chapter explores how the EU ended a long period of constitutional change by agreeing the Treaty of Lisbon and used it to face new challenges of financial crisis, Brexit, and Covid-19—the latter events leading to thoughts that further treaty change might be needed. The process started with the 2002–03 Convention on the Future of Europe leadin to the Constitutional Treaty of 2004 and in October 2007 produced the Treaty of Lisbon which eventually entered into force on 1 December 2009. Its implementation was complicated by the eurozone crisis, resulting in extra-treaty arrangements and another treaty amendment. Although the official appetite for treaty reform all but evaporated in the 2010s, the UK’s June 2016 vote to quit the EU raised the hopes for further changes. The end of the 2010s and into the 2020s saw Brexit being negotiated within the terms of the Treaty of European Union the EU’s treaty agreeing measures to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. Calls for treaty revision continued but active steps to re-negotiate the consolidated treaties have not yet begun.

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