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Cover European Union Politics

3. Carrying the EU Forward: The Era of Lisbon  

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.


Cover Politics in the European Union

10. From Amsterdam to Lisbon (2000–09)  

This chapter examines the new strategy adopted in March 2000 by a special European Council in Lisbon to make the European Union (EU) more competitive, culminating in the signing of the Treaty of Lisbon. The Amsterdam Treaty had scarcely entered into force before further Treaty reform emerged on the agenda. Throughout the year 2000, a new intergovernmental conference met to address outstanding institutional issues that had not been settled at Amsterdam. It concluded in December 2000 with the longest European Council in history, which led to the Treaty of Nice. The chapter first considers the Nice Treaty, before discussing the Lisbon Strategy, the European Security and Defence Policy, the Constitutional Treaty, the issue of enlargement, the European Parliament (EP), and the nomination of a new European Commission. It ends with a discussion of the Treaty of Lisbon.