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EU INSTITUTIONS 2ND YEAR TRANSLATION STUDIES AUTUMN TERM, 2010-2011 ROXANA-CRISTINA PETCU, PhD Lecture IV THE TREATY OF LISBON

Europe is not the same place it was 50 years ago, and nor is the rest of the world. In a constantly changing, ever more interconnected world, Europe is grappling with new issues: globalisation, demographic shifts, climate change, the need for sustainable energy sources and new security threats. These are the challenges facing Europe in the 21st century. Borders count for very little in the light of these challenges. The EU countries cannot meet them alone. But acting as one, Europe can deliver results and respond to the concerns of the public. For this, Europe needs to modernise. The EU has recently expanded from 15 to 27 members; it needs effective, coherent tools so it can function properly and respond to the rapid changes in the world. That means rethinking some of the ground rules for working together. The treaty signed in Lisbon on 13 December 2007 sets out to do just that. When European leaders reached agreement on the new rules, they were thinking of the political, economic and social changes going on, and the need to live up to the hopes and expectations of the European public. The Treaty of Lisbon defines what the EU can and cannot do, and what means it can use. It alters the structure of the EUs institutions and how they work. As a result, the EU is more democratic and its core values are better served. This treaty is the result of negotiations between EU member countries in an intergovernmental conference, in which the Commission and Parliament were also involved. The treaty was ratified by each of the EUs 27 members. It was up to each country to choose the procedure for ratification, in line with its own national constitution. The Treaty entered into force on 1 December 2009, in accordance with its Article 6, thus ending several years of negotiation about institutional issues. The Treaty of Lisbon amends the current EU and EC treaties, without replacing them. It provides the Union with the legal framework and tools necessary to meet future challenges and to respond to citizens' demands. A NEW EUROPE 1. A more democratic and transparent Europe, with a strengthened role for the European Parliament and national parliaments, more opportunities for citizens to have their voices heard and a clearer sense of who does what at European and national level. - A strengthened role for the European Parliament: the European Parliament, directly elected by EU citizens, is provided with important new powers regarding EU legislation, the EU budget and international agreements. In particular, the increase of co-decision procedure in policy-making ensures that the European Parliament is placed on an equal footing with the Council, representing Member States, for the vast bulk of EU legislation. -A greater involvement of national parliaments: national parliaments have greater opportunities to be involved in the work of the EU, in particular thanks to a new mechanism to monitor that the Union only acts where results can be better attained at EU level (subsidiarity). Together with the strengthened role for the European Parliament, it will enhance democracy and increase legitimacy in the functioning of the Union. - A stronger voice for citizens: thanks to the Citizens' Initiative, one million citizens from a number of Member States have the possibility to call on the Commission to bring forward new policy proposals. -Who does what: the relationship between the Member States and the European Union become clearer with the categorisation of competences. - Withdrawal from the Union: the Treaty of Lisbon explicitly recognises for the first time the possibility for a Member State to withdraw from the Union. 2. The Treaty of Lisbon confirms three principles of democratic governance in Europe: Democratic equality: the European institutions must give equal attention to all citizens Representative democracy: a greater role for the European Parliament and greater involvement for national parliaments Participatory democracy: new forms of interaction between citizens and the European institutions, like the citizens' initiative. There are already many ways in which European citizens can find out about

and take part in the political process of the EU. The newest of these is the citizens' initiative, whereby one million citizens, from any number of member countries, will be able to ask the Commission to present a proposal in any of the EU's areas of responsibility. The practical details of this initiative will be worked out once the Treaty of Lisbon takes effect. The treaty also recognises the importance of consultation and dialogue with associations, civil society, workers and employers, churches and other non-denominational organisations. 3. The treaty also clarifies the relations between the European Union and its member countries. Lawmaking: the 'co-decision procedure' (renamed 'ordinary legislative procedure') has been extended to several new fields. This means that Parliament now has the same degree of lawmaking power as the Council in some areas where it used to be merely consulted or not involved at all. These areas include legal immigration, penal judicial cooperation (Eurojust, crime prevention, alignment of prison standards, offences and penalties), police cooperation (Europol) and some aspects of trade policy and agriculture. The Parliament now has a role to play in almost all lawmaking. Budget: the new treaty confirms the established practice of working with a multiannual financial framework, which Parliament must approve. It also abolishes the former distinction between 'compulsory' expenditure (like direct income support to farmers) and 'non-compulsory' expenditure, with the result that Parliament and the Council determine all expenditure together. This innovation creates a new balance between the two institutions when approving the EU's budget. International agreements: under the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Parliament's assent is required for all international agreements in fields governed by the ordinary legislative procedure. 4. A greater role for national parliaments The treaty gives the national parliaments greater scope to participate alongside the European institutions in the work of the Union. A new clause clearly sets out the rights and duties of the national parliaments within the EU. It deals with their right to information, the way they monitor subsidiarity, mechanisms for evaluating policy in the field of freedom, security and justice, procedures for reforming the treaties, and so on. 5. The greatest novelty lies in new power to enforce subsidiarity. Subsidiarity means that except in the areas where it has exclusive powers the EU acts only where action will be more effective at EU-level than at national level. Any national parliament may flag a proposal for EU action which it believes does not respect this principle. This triggers a two-stage procedure: -if one third of national parliaments consider that the proposal is not in line with subsidiarity, the Commission will have to re-examine it and decide whether to maintain, adjust or withdraw it - if a majority of national parliaments agrees with the objection but the Commission decides to maintain its proposal anyway, the Commission will have to explain its reasons, and it will be up to the European Parliament and the Council to decide whether or not to continue the legislative procedure. 5. Transparency in the Council of Ministers National parliaments and citizens are now able to see which decisions have been taken by which national ministers in the Council, since all its deliberations on legislative matters are made public. 6. Relations between the EU and its member countries In answer to a question frequently asked by citizens: "Who does what in the EU?" the treaty stipulates who is to act in which domain - the Union or the member states. Three categories of powers are thus identified: Exclusive powers: in fields like the customs union, the common trade policy and competition, only the Union may legislate Supporting, coordinating or complementary action: in areas like culture, education and industry, the Union may only support action by the member states (by providing funding, for example) shared powers: in other fields, like the environment, transport and consumer protection, the Union and the member states share lawmaking power, not forgetting subsidiarity.

After joining the European Union, countries remain members by choice. The Treaty of Lisbon includes a voluntary withdrawal clause, recognising that the member states may always withdraw from the Union if they wish to. 7. A more efficient Europe, with simplified working methods and voting rules, streamlined and modern institutions for a EU of 27 members and an improved ability to act in areas of major priority for today's Union. - Effective and efficient decision-making: qualified majority voting in the Council is extended to new policy areas to make decision-making faster and more efficient. From 2014 on, the calculation of qualified majority will be based on the double majority of Member States and people, thus representing the dual legitimacy of the Union. A double majority will be achieved when a decision is taken by 55% of the Member States representing at least 65% of the Unions population. - A more stable and streamlined institutional framework: the Treaty of Lisbon creates the function of President of the European Council elected for two and a half years, introduces a direct link between the election of the Commission President and the results of the European elections, provides for new arrangements for the future composition of the European Parliament, and includes clearer rules on enhanced cooperation and financial provisions. - Improving the life of Europeans: the Treaty of Lisbon improves the EU's ability to act in several policy areas of major priority for today's Union and its citizens. This is the case in particular for the policy areas of freedom, security and justice, such as combating terrorism or tackling crime. It also concerns to some extent other areas including energy policy, public health, civil protection, climate change, services of general interest, research, space, territorial cohesion, commercial policy, humanitarian aid, sport, tourism and administrative cooperation. 8.The Treaty of Lisbon does not fundamentally change the EUs institutional set-up, which is still based on its three main bodies: European Parliament, Council and European Commission. However, it introduces a number of new elements to make these bodies more effective, consistent and transparent, all in the cause of better serving the people of Europe.In total, there are now seven EU institutions: the European Parliament, European Council, Council, European Commission, European Court of Justice, European Central Bank and European Court of Auditors. So what has the treaty changed? European Parliament This body represents voters in the EUs member countries. The treaty has boosted its powers as regards lawmaking, the EU budget and approval of international agreements. The composition of the parliament has also been changed - the number of MEPs is capped at 751 (750 plus the president of the parliament). Seats are distributed among countries according to degressive proportionality, i.e. MEPs from more populous countries will each represent more people than those from smaller countries. No country may now have less than 6 or more than 96 MEPs. European Council The European Council, which has the role of driving EU policy-making, now becomes a full EU institution. Although it does not gain any new powers, it is headed by a newly created position of president. Elected by the European Council for 2 years, the main job of the president is to prepare the Councils work, ensure its continuity and work to secure consensus among member countries. The president cannot simultaneously hold any elected position or office nationally. The Council of the European Union The Council represents the EUs member governments. Its role is largely unchanged. It continues to share lawmaking and budget power with the European Parliament and maintain its central role in common foreign and security policy (CFSP) and coordinating economic policies. The main change brought by the Treaty of Lisbon concerns the decision making process. Firstly, the default voting method for the Council is now qualified majority voting, except where the treaties require a different procedure (e.g. a unanimous vote). In practice, this means that qualified majority voting has been extended to many new policy areas (e.g. immigration and culture). In 2014, a new voting method will be introduced - double majority voting. To be passed by the Council, proposed EU laws will then require a majority not only of the EUs member countries (55 %) but also of

the EU population (65 %). This will reflect the legitimacy of the EU as a union of both peoples and nations. It will make EU lawmaking both more transparent and more effective. And it will be accompanied by a new mechanism (similar to the Ioannina compromise) enabling a small number of member governments (close to a blocking minority) to demonstrate their opposition to a decision. Where this mechanism is used, the Council will be required to do everything in its power to reach a satisfactory solution between the two parties, within a reasonable time period. European Commission Its main job is promoting the European public interest. The Treaty offers the perspective that a Commissioner from each Member State becomes Member of the Commission, while under the former Treaties that number would have to be reduced to a number inferior to that of Member States. In another major change, there is a direct link between the results of the European elections and the choice of candidate for president of the Commission. The president is also stronger, as he/she has the power to dismiss fellow Commissioners. EU high representative for foreign and security policy / Commission vice-president The creation of this post is one of the major institutional innovations introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon. It should ensure consistency in the EUs dealings with foreign countries and international bodies. The high representative has a dual role: representing the Council on common foreign and security policy matters and also being Commissioner for external relations. Conducting both common foreign policy and common defence policy, he/she chairs the periodic meetings of member countries foreign ministers (the foreign affairs Council). And he/she represents the EUs common foreign and security policy internationally, assisted by a new European external action service, composed of officials from the Council, Commission and national diplomatic services. The other institutions No significant changes have been made to the role or powers of the European Central Bank or the Court of Auditors. However, the treaty broadens the scope of the European Court of Justice, especially as regards police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, and changes some of its procedures. National parliaments Although national parliaments are not part of the EUs official institutional setup, they play a vital role in the operation of the EU. The Treaty recognises and strengthens the role of national parliaments. For example, if a sufficient number of national parliaments is convinced that a legislative initiative should better be taken at a local, regional or national level, the Commission either has to withdraw it or give a clear justification why it does not believe that the initiative is in breach with the principle of subsidiarity. 9. A Europe of rights and values, freedom, solidarity and security, promoting the Union's values, introducing the Charter of Fundamental Rights into European primary law, providing for new solidarity mechanisms and ensuring better protection of European citizens. Democratic values: the Treaty of Lisbon details and reinforces the values and objectives on which the Union is built. These values aim to serve as a reference point for European citizens and to demonstrate what Europe has to offer its partners worldwide. - Citizens' rights and Charter of Fundamental Rights: the Treaty of Lisbon preserves existing rights while introducing new ones. In particular, it guarantees the freedoms and principles set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights and gives its provisions a binding legal force. It concerns civil, political, economic and social rights. - Freedom of European citizens: the Treaty of Lisbon preserves and reinforces the "four freedoms" and the political, economic and social freedom of European citizens. - Solidarity between Member States: the Treaty of Lisbon provides that the Union and its Member States act jointly in a spirit of solidarity if a Member State is the subject of a terrorist attack or the victim of a natural or man-made disaster. Solidarity in the area of energy is also emphasised. - Increased security for all: the Union gets an extended capacity to act on freedom, security and justice, which brings direct benefits in terms of the Union's ability to fight crime and terrorism. New provisions on civil protection, humanitarian aid and public health also aim at boosting the Union's ability to respond to threats to the security of European citizens.

-Human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and the respect for human rights: these are the core values of the EU which are set out at the beginning of the Treaty of Lisbon. They are common to all Member States, and any European country wishing to become a member of the Union must respect them. Promoting these values, as well as peace and the well-being of the Unions peoples are now the main objectives of the Union. These general objectives are supplemented by a list of more detailed ones, including the promotion of social justice and protection, and the fight against social exclusion and discrimination. The Treaty of Lisbon makes significant advances regarding the protection of fundamental rights. It opens the way for the Union to seek accession to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. In addition, the Treaty of Lisbon guarantees the enforcement of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The EU therefore acquires for itself a catalogue of civil, political, economic and social rights, which are legally binding not only on the Union and its institutions, but also on the Member States as regards the implementation of Union law. The Charter lists all the fundamental rights under six major headings: Dignity, Freedom, Equality, Solidarity, Citizenship and Justice. It also proclaims additional rights not contained in the European Human Rights Convention, such as data protection, bioethics and the right to good administration. It reaffirms important steps to outlaw discrimination on the grounds of gender, race and colour. It also mentions social rights applied within companies, e.g. workers rights to be informed, to negotiate and take collective action in other words, the right to strike. Last but not least, the Treaty of Lisbon introduces a new right, which enables you to have your say on European matters: a petition with at least one million signatures obtained from a number of Member States can be sent to the Commission inviting it to take a legislative initiative. 10. Europe as an actor on the global stage will be achieved by bringing together Europe's external policy tools, both when developing and deciding new policies. The Treaty of Lisbon gives Europe a clear voice in relations with its partners worldwide. It harnesses Europe's economic, humanitarian, political and diplomatic strengths to promote European interests and values worldwide, while respecting the particular interests of the Member States in Foreign Affairs. A new High Representative for the Union in Foreign Affairs and Security Policy , also Vice-President of the Commission, will increase the impact, the coherence and the visibility of the EU's external action. A new European External Action Service will provide back up and support to the High Representative. A single legal personality for the Union will strengthen the Union's negotiating power, making it more effective on the world stage and a more visible partner for third countries and international organisations. Progress in European Security and Defence Policy will preserve special decision-making arrangements but also pave the way towards reinforced cooperation amongst a smaller group of Member States. Promoting its values and interests globally, the EU is the worlds biggest trader and its biggest provider of aid to developing countries. Under the Treaty of Lisbon, Europe will speak with a clear voice on external relations.Maintaining freedom, security and prosperity in Europe requires that Europe fulfil its potential as a global player. In a globalised world, challenges such as securing energy, climate change, sustainable development, economic competitiveness and terrorism cannot be tackled by a single country, but need an answer that only the EU as a whole can provide. The Treaty of Lisbon contains two important institutional innovations with a significant impact on the Unions external action: the permanent President of the European Council appointed for a renewable term of two and a half years, and the new High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, who shall ensure the consistency of the Union's external action. The Treaty of Lisbon helps the EU work more effectively and consistently around the world. Connecting different strands of EU external policy, such as diplomacy, security, trade, development, humanitarian aid and international negotiations, will give the EU a clearer voice in relations with our partner countries and organisations worldwide. The impact of EU intervention is also enhanced by a new European External Action Service, drawing on the resources of the EU institutions and the Member States to assist the High Representative. The Treaty introduces a single legal personality for the Union that enables the EU to conclude international agreements and join international organisations. The EU is therefore able to speak and take action as a single entity. The Treaty of Lisbon gives a higher profile to the principles under which the European Union acts: democracy, the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for human dignity, and the

principles of equality and solidarity. It introduces for the first time a specific legal basis for humanitarian aid and the possibility of creating a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps. While defining the role of the EU in the world, the Treaty of Lisbon also deals with a common security and defence policy, recognising this as an integral part of the Common Foreign and Security Policy. This includes a solidarity clause, calling for the Union and its Member States to act jointly if a Member State is the target of a terrorist attack. 11. AN AREA OF JUSTICE, FREEDOM AND SECURITY Building an area of Justice, Freedom and Security is a high priority for the European Union. The Treaty of Lisbon has considerable influence on the existing rules governing freedom, and security and justice at EU level and will facilitate more comprehensive, legitimate, efficient, transparent and democratic EU action in this field. Before the Lisbon Treaty entered in force, important matters in this field required decision by unanimity in the Council with only a limited role given to the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice. The Treaty of Lisbon leads to increased democracy and transparency as a set of uniform legal acts are adopted with a stronger role for the European Parliament as co-legislator (co-decision procedure) and by the extension of the qualified majority principle in the Council. EU action is facilitated by the abolition of the existing separate policy areas - also known as 'pillars' - that characterise today's institutional structure with regard to police and judicial co-operation in criminal matters. However, legislative initiatives based on Member States' initiatives (at least a quarter of Member States) in the area of operational police cooperation, criminal justice and administrative cooperation remains possible. The European Commission gains its full role as guardian of the Treaties and will, together with the European Court of Justice, ensure that decisions are being applied correctly. National Parliaments also take a more active role in the examination and delivery of opinions regarding justice, freedom and security issues. The Treaty of Lisbon guarantees the freedoms and rights set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and gives its provisions binding legal force. The Court of Justice also, in this respect, gains an increased ability to ensure that the Charter is being applied correctly. These advances facilitate the creation of more comprehensive, legitimate, efficient, transparent and democratic decision making for the common Area of Justice Freedom and Security by tackling the recurrent blockages of proposals due to the unanimity rule. Nevertheless, three Member States have considered it necessary to negotiate or extend special arrangements on specific Justice, Freedom and Security areas with a view to maintaining specific national arrangements. 12. Policies for a better life Leading the fight against climate change, building an ambitious space policy, ensuring security of energy supply: these are a few examples of what the EU is now able to do thanks to the Treaty of Lisbon. The European Unions wide ranging activities affect our everyday lives, but the challenges facing Europe today are complex and diverse. The treaty will help Europe to continue moving forward in this world of increased competition and changing demographics. This will pay dividends, not only in the area of growth and competition, but also in aspects of our social care. Now all EU policies will have to factor in boosting employment, adequate social protection and the fight against social exclusion. -Climate change and the environment Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing us now: it impacts on our social and economic lives as well as our environment. Fighting it on an international level is the cornerstone of the EUs environment policy, along with sustainable development. Although sustainable development and environmental protection have been included in existing treaties, the Treaty of Lisbon sets out clear definitions, reinforcing the EUs action in these fields. -Energy Energy supplies are crucial to us all: rising bills have affected many Europeans in the last couple of years. The Treaty of Lisbon helps Europe secure its supply and will promote the use of sustainable and competitive resources.

The Treaty contains a specific chapter on energy which defines the key competencies and the overall objectives of energy policy: the functioning of energy markets, security of supply, energy efficiency and savings, the development of new and renewable forms of energy and the interconnection of energy networks. For the first time there is a principle of solidarity, ensuring that if one country faces severe difficulties in the supply of energy, other Member States will help keep the country supplied. -Civil protection The Treaty of Lisbon aims to facilitate the prevention and protection against natural and man made disasters within the EU. A new legal basis allows EU countries' actions in this field to be supported and operational cooperation to be promoted. As the first visible signs of climate change to hit Europe, floods and fires, become apparent, cooperation between Member States is now more necessary than ever. - Public health The wellbeing of Europes citizens is at the heart of the Treaty of Lisbon so further developments are made to health policies. The Treaty provides for measures which have as their direct objective the protection of public health, including as regards tobacco and the abuse of alcohol. To step up patient protection, the EU is able to set standards for medical products and devices. Finally, the Treaty helps Member States monitor the early warning of serious cross-border threats, such as avian flu. Should such threats become reality, the Treaty enables EU countries to mobilise all their resources in a coherent and efficient manner. -Public services The Treaty of Lisbon recognises the role public services play in social and regional cohesion transport, schooling, health care all keep us going. A special protocol is attached to the Treaty, which sets out the key ways to make services of general interest effective and relevant. -Regional policy The Treaty also consolidates economic, social and territorial cohesion in the Union; for the first time, the principle of territorial cohesion appears in the EU objectives. The Treaty of Lisbon strengthens the role of the regions and the new definition of the principle of subsidiarity according to which the EU only acts where results can be better attained at EU level rather than national level now refers to both local and regional levels. -Research The Treaty of Lisbon puts at the heart of its research policy the establishment of a European Research Area in which researchers, scientific knowledge and technology circulate freely. At a time when new world players are emerging with a keen interest in establishing space projects, the Treaty also creates a new legal basis for a coherent space policy: a clear acknowledgement that Europe can not afford to overlook the economic and strategic benefits of a space policy. -Commercial policy For everyone to flourish, trade needs to be kept fair and free. The Treaty of Lisbon extends the scope of Europes commercial policy to include direct foreign investment. The tools of intellectual property: trademarks, designs, patents, copyright, are a driving force for innovation, growth and competitiveness. The Treaty of Lisbon makes uniform protection throughout the Union easier to provide. -Sport The Treaty of Lisbon paves the way for a real European dimension in sport. New provisions enables the EU to support, coordinate and supplement the actions of Member States, promoting neutrality and transparency in sporting competitions and cooperation between sporting bodies. It also protects the physical and moral integrity of sportsmen and women, with particular emphasis on the young. -Economy The euro area, comprising the countries having adopted the common currency, will also run more smoothly under the Treaty of Lisbon. The Commission is able to issue a "direct" warning to Member States whose loose budgetary discipline risks jeopardising the proper functioning of the euro area. -Data protection The Treaty of Lisbon clearly states that everyone has the right to the protection of their personal data. This right is also enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights. -Tourism The Treaty of Lisbon creates a new legal basis entirely devoted to tourism, which should reinforce the EU as the foremost tourist destination of the world.

The Lisbon Treaty gives the European Parliament more power to shape Europe than ever before. Along with more power, comes more responsibility vis--vis citizens, national parliaments and the European Union. Every new EU treaty has increased the European Parliament's legislative power. The Lisbon Treaty now places Parliament on an equal footing with the Council of Ministers in deciding on the vast majority of EU laws. More powers The Lisbon Treaty makes the European Parliament a stronger lawmaker by bringing over 40 new fields within the "co-decision" procedure, under which Parliament has equal rights with the Council. These areas include agriculture, energy security, immigration, justice and home affairs, health and structural funds. Parliament gains a bigger role in setting budgets, as the old distinction between "compulsory" and "non-compulsory" expenditure is abolished. Parliament will decide on the entire EU budget together with the Council. MEPs will also have to give their consent to a whole range of international agreements negotiated by the Union, in areas such as international trade. More responsibility More power means more responsibility. With this increased legislative power, Parliament's decisions will, more than ever, directly affect the daily lives of Europe's citizens. Parliament shall, in all its activities, fully respect the fundamental rights of EU citizens, in line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty. MEPs will have a new role in relations with the other institutions of the EU. From now on, results of elections to the European Parliament will be directly linked to the choice of candidate for the President of the European Commission. The whole Commission, including the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, needs Parliament's approval to take office. Lastly, the Lisbon Treaty gives Parliament a new right to propose treaty changes. 1. New EP: better equipped for today's challenges The Lisbon Treaty improves the ability of the EU and its Parliament to act and deliver. At a time when both Europe and the rest of the world are faced with new challenges like globalisation, demographic shifts, climate change, energy security and terrorism, no single state can effectively deal with them alone. Only by working together, in a more efficient, accountable, transparent and coherent way and speaking with one voice, can Europe respond to its citizens' concerns. The reform treaty makes your Parliament better equipped for today's and tomorrow's challenges - in a growing EU. Further, with Lisbon, your Parliament will also enjoy a new right to propose future treaty changes. 2. New EP: more powers in shaping Europe With the Lisbon Treaty, the European Parliament will have more power in shaping Europe than ever before. With its full legislative power extending to over 40 new fields, Parliament becomes a truly equal lawmaker with the Council of Ministers, representing member states governments. Agriculture, energy security, legal immigration, justice and home affairs, public health and structural funds are just a few of the areas where Parliament acquires full authority. Its decisions will have an ever stronger impact on your everyday life. 3. New EP: tighter hold on EU's purse strings From now on, the Parliament will decide on the entire EU budget together with the Council of Ministers. Until now, it did not have the final word on "compulsory expenditure" (around 45% of the EU budget) such as spending relating to agriculture or international agreements. This changes as the Parliament becomes responsible for the entire EU budget, together with EU governments. Your Parliament will not only have a decisive say on overall spending priorities, but will also have a tighter hold on the EU's purse strings. 4. New EP: greater say on who runs the EU In the Lisbon era, the Parliament will not only decide what is done and how money is spent, it will also have a greater say on which men and women run the EU. The Parliament will elect the President of the European Commission, on the basis of the EU heads of state and government's pre-selection, which must take into account the results of European elections - and your choice. Also, Parliament's consent is

needed in the appointment of the EU's new voice in the world and foreign policy chief, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, who will also be a Commission Vice-President 5. New EP: stronger voice for Europe's citizens New power means more responsibility. As the only directly-elected EU institution, the Parliament will have new tools to give a stronger voice to the 500 million citizens it represents and to hold the EU accountable to them. The Parliament will be the guardian of EU citizens' new catalogue of civil, political, economic and social rights - the Charter of Fundamental Rights - embedded in the Lisbon Treaty, as well as their new right of citizens' initiative, which will allow people to call for new policy proposals if supported by 1 million signatures. Also, it will safeguard national parliaments' right to object to European level legislative proposals should they consider them to concern matters better dealt with at national level 10 things about the Lisbon treaty you should know "Lisbon treaty" - you may have heard quite a bit about it recently. Still baffled? Well, here we present some of the main changes that it will bring to the European Union should it be adopted. At the time of writing the treaty has been ratified by 26 of the 27 EU members. Despite the Czech Parliament passing the treaty, President Vclav Klaus is still refusing to sign it pending certain guarantees. Citizens' initiative: If 1 million Europeans present a petition to the European Commission then it would have to look at ways of introducing the proposals. Alternatively it could force the Union's executive to look at ways of repealing legislation. Lawmaking: The European Parliament would become an equal in terms of lawmaking with the Council of Ministers, where member state national governments are represented. Policy: Members of the European Parliament would be on an equal legislative footing with the Council regarding EU agriculture and fisheries policy, trade policy, legal immigration and EU structural funds, to name just a few. National Parliaments gain an increased role in EU decision making with the treaty giving them eight weeks in which to argue their case if they feel a draft law oversteps European Union authority. An EU President: European leaders will have to elect a new EU President to chair their 4 summits a year and set out the agenda ahead. This would replace the six monthly rotations and the holder is likely to be the public face of the Union. High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy: The second new job created under Lisbon. The powerful EU "foreign minister" will chair meetings of Foreign Affairs Ministers, oversee the multi-billion EU aid budget and run the proposed European External Action Service - a European diplomatic corps. Double majority in Council votes: The treaty changes the voting arrangements in the Council of Ministers. New arrangements mean that instead of voting by unanimity measures can now be carried if they have 55% of the votes in the Council from counties representing 65% of the EU's population. Commission President elected by MEPs: Any new President of the European Commission would be elected by the European Parliament. Charter of Fundamental Rights: The Charter becomes legally binding meaning all laws must adhere to it. The UK and Poland have certain opt outs on this point. Withdrawal: For the first time countries have the right to withdraw from the European Union PROCEDURE FOR THE COMMISIONERS DESIGNATE HEARING BY THE PE The term of office of the European Commission, the European Unions executive body, lasts five years. As the last College of Commissioners was appointed in November 2004 it now has to be replaced. This requires the approval of the European Parliament. Membership of the next CommissionUnder the new Lisbon Treaty the Commission is composed of one national of each Member State. So the new Commission will have 27 Members: a President and 26

Commissioners in charge of a particular portfolio. several of these 26 Commissioners are Vice-Presidents assisting the President. An innovation in the Lisbon Treaty: one of these Vice-Presidents is also the European Unions High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Two-stage approval by Parliament Under Article 17 of the Treaty on European Union the European Parliaments approval has two stages: in the first, Parliament elects the candidate proposed by the European Council for President of the Commission. The reselection of Mr Jos Manuel Barroso for a second term was approved by Parliament on 16 September 2009. So Mr Barroso will be President of the next Commission. In a second stage, Parliament approves the whole Commission as a body. To prepare for its vote it considers in detail the candidates whom the Council has proposed as Commissioners by common accord with President Barroso, and in the light of the portfolios that he intends to give them. Evaluation criteria Parliament evaluates the Commissioners-designate on the basis of their general competence, European commitment and personal independence. It also assesses their knowledge of the prospective portfolio and their communication skills. Parliament takes particular account of the need for gender balance. It may express views on the allocation of portfolios proposed by the President-elect. Step by step Parliaments approval procedure is laid down in Annex XVII to its Rules of Procedure and consists of the following steps: Parliament receives the Commissioner-designates curriculum vitae and their declarations of financial interests. Parliament puts to the Commissioners-designate a series of written questions dealing mainly with the candidates policy priorities in their respective fields of responsibility. The candidates written replies provide the basis for the oral stage the hearings. Each Commissioner-designate is invited to a three-hour public hearing with the parliamentary committee(s) responsible for the portfolio concerned. These hearings enable the committees to get to know the personalities of the Commissioners-designate and have a detailed exchange of views with the various candidates on their priorities in their prospective areas of responsibility. The committees then evaluate each of the Commissioners-designate. They check that the Commissioners-designate have the skills required not only to be Members of the Commission in general, but also to be in charge of a particular portfolio. The results of the hearings are sent to the President of Parliament and considered by the Conference of Presidents, comprising the President and all political group leaders, and by the Conference of Committee Chairs. The Commission President presents the College of Commissioners-designate and their programme to a plenary sitting of Parliament which the Council of the EU is invited to attend. This presentation is followed by a debate. Lastly, Parliament votes on approval of the whole European Commission as a body. The new Commission can then be formally appointed by the European Council, acting by a qualified majority. European Parliament set for hearings of Commissioner designates Barroso's Dream Team After the unveiling of the new European Commission line up on 27 November, each "commissioner designate" faces a Q and A session with MEPs. The committee covering the area of competence of each commissioner will hold a hearing from 11 to 19 January, following the receipt of written answers from each of them. A final parliamentary vote is expected on 26 January. The Commission cannot take office before the EP has approved it.The new Commission will be headed for a second time by Jos Manuel Barroso. It includes nine women and some new portfolios such as Climate Action, Home Affairs, Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship.Speaking after the names had been made public EP President Jerzy Buzek said "I am happy that President Barroso has acted swiftly in allocating the portfolios to the Commissioners-designate". Parliament has created a special interactive website for the hearings of the commissioners designate in all EU languages telling all you need to know. It's also the place to follow the hearings live. Let's have a quick look at who will be running the EU's executive for the next five years.

Catherine Ashton (UK): High representative and Vice-President Born in 1956, Lady Ashton studied sociology at university before starting a career in domestic British politics where she eventually became the leader of the British Labour party in the House of Lords. Appointed European Commissioner for Trade in 2008, she is the first High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and will also be a Vice-President of the European Commission. Viviane Reding (Luxembourg): Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship and VicePresident Born in 1951 and a Human Sciences graduate she has been a European Commissioner since 1999, first for Education and Culture and then for Information Society and Media from 2004. Ms Reding was an MEP from 1989 to 1999 for the centre right EPP group. The College proposed by Barroso 1 Commissioner for each member state 7 Vice-presidents 9 women out of 27 commissioners designate 8 former MEPs 13 people were already commissioners in the previous Commission (plus one in 1999-2004) Politically it is dominated by figures from Europe's centre right Joaquin Almunia (Spain): Competition and Vice-President Born in 1948, he studied law and economics. He has been Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs since 2004 and is a former Spanish minister for Public administration and Employment and Social Security. He was also leader of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) from 1997 to 2000. They are allied to the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) in the European Parliament. Siim Kallas (Estonia): Transport and Vice-President The finance graduate was born in 1948. He was Prime Minister of Estonia from 2002-2003 and also held the posts of Finance and Foreign Minister. He has been a Vice President of the Commission since 2004 and was Chairman of the Reform Party from 1994- 2004, which was allied with the Liberal ALDE group in Parliament Neelie Kroes (Netherlands): Digital Agenda and Vice-President Born in 1941, Neelie Kroes studied economics and was a Dutch MP from 1971-1977 before becoming Minister of Transport, Public Works and Telecommunication. In 2004 she became Competition Commissioner. She is a Member of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy which sits with the ALDE group in the Parliament. Antonio Tajani (Italy): Industry and Entrepreneurship and Vice-President Born in 1953, the Law graduate has been Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for transport policy since 2008 prior to which he was an MEP with Forza Italia which was part of the EPP group in the EP. Maro evovi (Slovakia): Vice-President of the Commission for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration Born in 1966, Mr evovi studied economics, international relations and law. Before becoming the Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth in October 2009 he was a career diplomat. He has no party affiliation. Lszl Andor (Hungary): Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

Born in 1966, Mr Andor studied economics. He has been a Member of the board of directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development since 2005. He has no party political affiliation though he has exercised a range of functions on behalf of the Hungarian Socialist Party. Michel Barnier (France): Internal Market and Services Born in 1951, he studied business and has been an MEP since July 2009 with the "Union pour un mouvement populaire", part of the EPP group. He has been Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Foreign Affairs, Environment, and European Affairs. He was the European Commissioner for Regional Policy and Reform of European Institutions 1999-2004 and is a Vice-President of the European Peoples Party. Dacian Ciolo (Romania): Agriculture and Rural Development Born in 1969, Mr Ciolo studied engineering and economics and was Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development in 2007-2008. He has no party affiliation. John Dalli (Malta): Health and Consumer Policy Born in 1948, he studied to become a Chartered Accountant. Later he was variously Social Policy Minister, Foreign Affairs Minister, Finance and Economic Services Minister. He is a member of the Nationalist Party which is allied to the EPP. Maria Damanaki (Greece): Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Born in 1952, she studied chemical engineering. Ms Damanaki is currently a member of the Greek Parliament for the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (S&D). Karel De Gucht (Belgium): Trade Born in 1954, he studied law and was an MEP from 1980-1994. Later he was Belgian Foreign Minister 2004-2009 before taking the post of European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid. He was the National President of VLD (Flemish Liberals and Democrats) from 1999-2004. tefan Fle (Czech Republic): Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy (in cooperation with the High representative) Born in 1962, he studied international relations and has been Minister for European Affairs since 2009. He has no party affiliation. Mire Geoghegan Quinn (Eire): Research and Innovation Born in 1950, the former teacher has been Minister of Education 1982, European Affairs 1987-1991, Tourism, Transport and Communications 1992-1993 and Justice 1993-1994. She has been a Member of the European Court of Auditors since 1999 and is a member of the Fianna Fil party who are in the Liberal ALDE group in the European Parliament. Johannes Hahn (Austria)- Regional Policy Born in 1957 Mr Hahn studied Philosophy and was later Federal Minister for Science and Research. He is a Member of the Austrian Peoples Party - VP (EPP). Connie Hedegaard (Danish): Climate Action Born in 1960, she studied literature and history before becoming the Environment Minister 2004-2007 and then Energy Minister. She is a member of the Conservative People's Party (EPP).

Rumiana Jeleva (Bulgaria): International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response (in cooperation with the High Representative) Born in 1969, she graduated in Sociology and has been an EPP MEP from 2007 to 2009. She has been Foreign Minister since 2009. Ms Jeleva is a Member of the GERB - Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (EPP). Janusz Lewandowski (Poland): Budget and Financial Programming Born in 1951, he studied economics and has been an MEP for the Civic platform party (allied to the EPP) since 2004. Cecilia Malmstrm (Sweden): Home Affairs Born in 1968, Ms Malmstrm graduated in Political Science and was an MEP for the Liberal ALDE Group in the European Parliament from 1999 to 2006. At present she is the Minister for European Affairs. Gnther Oettinger (Germany): Energy Gnther Oettinger was born in 1953 and studied economics and law. He has been Minister-President of the German federal region of Baden-Wrttemberg since 2005 and a Member of the Christian-Democratic Union - CDU - who are allied to the EPP Andris Piebalgs (Latvia): Development (in cooperation with the High representative) Born in 1957, Mr Piebalgs studied physics and later went into politics.,Minster of Education from 19901993 and for Finance from 1994-1996. He became the European Commissioner for Energy in 2004 and is a former Member of the Latvian Way (ALDE), now a member of the EPP Janez Potonik (Slovenia): Environment Born in 1958, he graduated in Economics and later became Minister for European Affairs from 20022004. He was appointed European Commissioner for Science and Research in 2004. He has no party affiliation. Olli Rehn (Finnish): Economic and Monetary Affairs Former Enlargement Commissioner, Olli Rehn was born in 1962 and later studied International Relations. He was an MEP in 1995-1996 for the Liberal Group and is a Member of the Centre Party of Finland (ALDE). Algirdas emeta (Lithuania): Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud Born in 1962, he studied economics and mathematics. He was appointed European Commissioner responsible for Financial Programming and Budget in July this year. Prior to that he was Minister of Finance. Mr emeta is a Member of the Homeland Union - Christian Democrats (EPP). Androulla Vassiliou (Cypriot): Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Born in 1943, she studied Law and International Affairs. Appointed European Commissioner for Health in 2008 she was Vice-President of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party from 2001 to 2006 (ALDE